The importance of airtight access panels

25th May 2022

At Exitile, we offer multiple types of testing and ratings for our access panels. In this article, we will explore the importance of having airtight access panels. As they are similar in nature and testing, smoke ratings will also be addressed.

What is an airtight panel?

Panels with an airtight rating will ensure that the Access Panel has minimal air leakage. These can often be found in commercial buildings such as hospitals, or even in domestic environments such as loft access panels.

Benefits of an airtight access panel

Having an airtight access panel can be beneficial in both residential and commercial environments with the chief aim of ensuring that the smallest amount of air can be passed through the panel as possible. As building regulations push developers further towards achieving complete efficiency, choosing an airtight access panel can maintain and improve the effectiveness of insulation found in the building.

Airtight codes

Our airtight panels are tested in accordance to the standard conditions for window and door sets, as specified in BS EN 1026:2016.

Our airtight panels can be identified by looking for a green symbol with three waves in the middle, and the symbol will also contain the letters ‘AT’.  

                                                                                                                                                                                    

Airtight test

An airtight access panel has to have been tested for leakage under both positive and negative air pressure. This is tested at ambient temperature to match the most common environment that they’d be used in. The testing will take place in a laboratory setting and will monitor the level of air leakage through the Access Panel, testing the integrity of the components that create the airtight properties. After the test the panel will be certified a grading from class 1-4 based on air leakage sustained, with class 4 allowing the least leakage.

Smoke test

A smoke rating has a slightly different definition than an airtight one, though the tests are almost identical the smoke test has 2 options, a cold smoke test which is done at ambient temperature very similar to an airtight test and a hot smoke test which measures the air leakage at a raised temperature of 200 degrees. This is indicative of smoke that has raised to further floors and has cooled somewhat. It is not a test of smoke leaking from a door or panel actively stopping a fire. Unlike an airtight test, smoke testing is either a pass or fail based on a measurement of allowed leakage and is tested in accordance with EN 1634-3: 2004.

Panels that have been tested for smoke can be identified through a grey symbol, with two smoke stacks with the letter ‘S’ at the bottom. The letter will always appear after any appropriate fire ratings for the panel.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide airtight or smoke ratings on our FlipFix range, but we do offer a vast range of other access panels that allow for such a rating. At Exitile, we provide airtight access panels to suit your requirements. To find out more about how we can work with you to deliver the right access panel for your needs, why not contact us today by sending an email to [email protected] or calling 024 7635 2771.

FlipFix, the correct way to install an Access Panel

There is no longer the need to brace or support the structural opening, and no extra screws or glue required. The FLIPFIX Access Panels come a unique Fitting Device making it 5 times quicker to fit compared to a traditional panel saving you 80% on fitting costs, just cut, flip and fix!

New Patented Flush Lock
Fire rated for up to 2 hours
Easy & Fast Guided Installation