Experimental study on smoke movement leading to glass damages in double-skinned façade

Wan Ki Chow, W. Y. Hung, Y. Gao, G. Zou, H. Dong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Fire hazard of the new architectural feature - double-skinned façade was examined experimentally. Full-scale burning tests on part of the design feature were carried out in a facility developed in a remote area in Northeast China. A total of eight tests were performed to demonstrate how the depth of cavity of a double-skinned façade affects the smoke movement. Surface temperature and heat flux received on the test panels are presented. Cracking patterns found on the glass panels are also observed. The measured results would give the possible smoke movement pattern inside the air cavity. By examining the results for cavity depth of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 m, it is found that a deeper cavity might give better safety under the scenario studied. The outer glass panel would be broken rapidly for the cavity of 0.5 m deep. Double-skinned façade with a cavity of 1.0 m deep appeared to be very risky as glass panels above broke most among the different cavity depths. The inner glass panel might be broken before the outer panel. This would give an undesirable outcome. Other separation distances of the two skins should be further examined to give optimum design of cavity depth. Other factors affecting flame and smoke movement should be further investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-566
Number of pages11
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


  • Cavity
  • Double-skinned façade
  • Full-scale burning test
  • Smoke movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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