frequently asked questions
Fire rated Aluminum framing systems? How is that possible?
The Aluflam storefront framing system is based on two extruded and thermally broken aluminum profiles that are filled with a proprietary compound. In a fire test, the aluminum will begin melting off on the exposed side of the frame, but the remaining construction will retain its integrity throughout the test. One of the main benefits with the Aluflam framing system is that it passes the fire testing without the structural steel profiles that other systems use.
The Aluflam curtainwall system works in a similar fashion with the filler being contained within the structural member of the aluminum profile.
How long have Aluflam systems been available?
The Aluflam systems have been successfully promoted in Europe for 10+ years and were launched in North America in 2004.
Who do you sell to?
Aluflam products are sold to commercial glazing contractors nationwide. We typically do not sell directly to general contractors or building owners, because the product is glazed in the field – and the glazing process is best performed by a company who has that trade as a specialty.
Do you install?
We are strictly suppliers of the systems, and do not perform installation. Please let us know about your project, and we will be happy to provide a recommended source for installation in your area.
Are the products approved for the North American market?
Yes, the Aluflam products are tested and approved to most national and international fire codes. In North America they are listed by Underwriters Laboratories.
Does it pass the fire hose stream test?
All glass having a fire listing for 45 minutes or more is required to pass the fire hose stream test. Aluflam’s 45, 60, 90 and 120 minute products have successfully passed the fire hose stream test.
Do the products act as radiant heat barriers?
Yes! The 60 and 120 minute framing systems (storefront and curtainwall) have been tested per UL 263 standard which demonstrates that they act as barriers to radiant heat transmission. This is a VERY important feature of this frame/glass system technology. A window system is not of much benefit if it blocks the flame but lets all the heat through. Tests have shown that combustible materials can self ignite from the heat that passes through a non-barrier system.
What fire ratings can I get?
Today, the Aluflam systems are available with up to 120 minute fire ratings. New products will continuously be added to our product line including operable windows, sliding doors, skylights and products with even higher ratings. See specific availability in the different product sections of this website.
Do you make an operable window (casement, sliding etc)?
Currently, we do not offer a tested/approved operable window product. New products such as these operable windows, sliding doors, skylight, etc. and products with even higher ratings will continuously be added to our product line.
Where are the products produced?
The products are produced in Aluflam North America’s modern factory in Cerritos, California using the latest computerized manufacturing equipment to ensure the product meets our stringent quality requirements.
The fire-rated glass is manufactured by Vetrotech Saint Gobain in Seattle, WA.
The framing and the glass is shipped separately to the glazing contractor or to the jobsite.
Aluflam also have two factories in Europe (Denmark and Lithuania) which primarily supply products to the local European marketplace.
What Aluminum frame finish/color can I get?
With extruded aluminum profiles come many options for attractive finishing. The Aluflam frames can be powdercoated, painted or anodized in various colors and are always supplied pre-finished from factory.
Anodize: Clear, Medium Bronze, Dark Bronze, Champagne.
Powdercoat: Our standard powdercoat paint is based on the RAL® color system with hundreds of colors available. Powdercoating is quickly gaining ground as an economical, durable, and environmentally friendly alternative to wet painting.
Paint: Architectural Kynar® finishes.
Can custom extrusions be provided?
Sometimes, designers have become creative and have attempted to specify our systems with their own custom extrusions. This is NOT good practice, because we must generally stay with the systems as tested in order to maintain UL compliance. If you have a VERY complex project, please contact our engineering department with your specifications and we will identify if a custom solution would be feasible from a fire test / manufacturing perspective.
What are the maximum dimensions of your doors?
The fire-rated doors do have a size limitation based on the dimensions used for fire-testing. Aluflam can custom fabricate to your exact requirements up to those dimensions. Please refer to the door product pages for the maximum size for the various door types and ratings.
Can hardware be substituted?
Any hardware substitutions must be reviewed closely to confirm that they do not violate listing requirements – or if they fit in our narrow stile design. Refer to the standard hardware schedules in our data sheets, or give us a call to find out exactly what can be done.
Can other doors be installed in Aluflam door frames / Can Aluflam doors be installed in other door frames?
No – the Aluflam doors and frames are extruded to be an integral system. They will not function independently.
Do you make an ALL Aluminum Fire door (no glass)?
No - we only manufacture Full Vision glass doors similarly as the Aluflam doors and frames are tested/approved only with glass products from Vetrotech Saint-Gobain.
What are my fire-rated glass options?
Aluflam systems incorporate clear laminated fire glazing from Vetrotech Saint Gobain. The glazing conforms to CPSC16CFR1201 (CAT I & II) standards for impact, while providing excellent clarity and sound reduction. The Aluflam system is approved with both Swissflam® and Contraflam® glazing which provides superior resistance to heat transfer. 20 minute systems use 1/4” thick Pyroswiss® US tempered safety glass.
Visit www.vetrotechusa.com for more information related to the Contraflam, Swissflam, and Pyroswiss products.
Which glass finishes are available?
Various options are available, including obscure glass, frit pattern glass, tinted glass, one-way glass, etc.
Logos, designs, etc. can be sandblasted into the fire-rated glass.
Is there a fire-rated butt-glazed solution?
Yes! In cooperation with Vetrotech, Aluflam has successfully tested a silicone joint specifically designed for fire applications. Going by the name Contraflam® Structure, it is available in our 60 minute storefront system – for interior applications.
Can the products be purchased without glass?
No - we consider it critical that the correct size and type of glass is installed in our frames. An error could void the fire rating of the product. Therefore, we must insist on providing the fire-rated glazing.
Do the products arrive factory glazed?
No – due to the design of the product, the frames are anchored through the glass pocket. Therefore, the glass is installed once the frames have been installed in the wall opening.
Is a lot of field assembly required?
No – our framing systems are generally factory fabricated complete and ready to be anchored into the wall opening. Larger elevations are often broken down into smaller units to simplify transportation and installation – but are easily connected in the field.