Meet our Pyrobel Team: Camélia Matean

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We would like to present Camélia Matean who is Product Manager, Fire-Resistant Glass.

Camélia Matean joined AGC in 2002 as a development engineer in the Fire Resistant Glass (FRG) Business Unit. In 2009, she took over as head of the Pyrobel Development & Applications department, in charge of product development and certifications. Since 2019, she has served as Product Manager for AGC Pyrobel Fire-Resistant Glass. She and her team work on new fire tests and certifications to ensure fire safety for everyone. Camélia holds a master’s degree in civil engineering, specialising in polymer chemistry..

EU fire safety regulations for buildings are becoming increasingly stringent. Can you explain what this is all about?

In June 2017, Fire Safe Europe compared building regulations and fire safety requirements across Europe. The analysis revealed astonishing discrepancies between member states. The tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017 was a turning point in fire safety.

Over the past five years multiple EU member states have taken action to revise their regulations with a view to improving fire safety in buildings.

Fire resistance is quantified into three main classes defined by European standard EN 13501-2:

Fire resistance is defined as the period of time (in minutes) during which the glass element meets one or more criteria (E, EW, EI). For example, EI30 means that in the event of a fire the glass element will maintain integrity and insulation (EI) for at least 30 minutes.

How are fire tests conducted?

Fire resistance tests are carried out in accredited laboratories where the glass elements are placed in large ovens that simulate a real fire. Temperatures in the oven can reach up to 1000 °C.

  • Integrity is assessed using gauges for protection class E.
  • The radiation measured at one meter from the unexposed surface must remain below 15 kW/m2 for class EW.
  • The average temperature measured using thermocouples on the unexposed glass surface must remain below 140 °C for protection class EI.

We also have three in-house test ovens at AGC capable of handling dimensions up to 3 x 4 m. We use these ovens to regularly verify current production performance, develop new products and prepare for official tests. We also use our multiple furnaces to help frame manufacturers develop their products and validate their fire-resistant systems with glass elements (glass partitions, windows, doors) by performing fire pre-tests in accordance with the test methods set out in EN 1363-1.

Since our focus is on safety, our internal safety tests and requirements are stricter than the official international requirements. We recently performed a fire test under the supervision of French certification body Efectis France on a 29-year-old Pyrobel unit dismantled from a building. Its fire performance was perfect – by a significant margin.

We carry out more than 100 official and in-house fire tests per year.