On 14th June 2017, the horror of the Grenfell tower block fire unfolded on many of our TV screens. Amongst the many inquiries, the Government had commissioned an urgent, independent review of all building and fire safety regulations and their effectiveness towards fire prevention across exteriors of buildings.


Safety built in

Up until 2017, building regulations had not been updated since 2010, and experts had previously flagged concerns that these regulations were unclear on the use of combustible or fire resistant and retardant products. Especially in the world we operate, the regulations meant that it was permissible for buildings over 18 metres in height to have combustible insulation for instance. However, there were other strict guidelines that were designed to help prevent fires from spreading across the exterior of buildings. An area where we clearly operate within. Nova Aluminium have a proud record of innovation to offer our customers. Not only with cost effective glazing and signage systems, but with products that are high in quality with built-in safety that has always gone far beyond the minimum of any Government requirements. Long before 2017 we had been using materials such as ‘Fabrock’ to insulate our doors which has excellent fire, acoustic and thermal properties. Ideal for fire doors and other OEM applications where rigid board insulation is required.

Fabrock Door Insulation
Nova Aluminium Headquarters

Eliminating the fire risk

There are four fundamental components that are manufactured to create signage to adorn the wall of a building. The printed graphic or skin, the framework, the method to apply the print to the frame and sometimes the internal lighting system. We already had two of those components fabricated for safety. Firstly, extruded aluminium frames have a high melting point. Secondly, internal L.E.D. lighting systems dramatically reduce the chance of over heating and topically this year, helps greatly in the need to reduce energy consumption. A number of flexface systems in the market use plastic parts for tensioning the printed graphic. This third element is where our innovative NovaFlex system has been designed to eliminate any use of plastic material required to attach the skin to the frame.

Leading the innovation

A perfect example of the advantages with our systems can be demonstrated with a recent request from Alex Wood at RMC Digital print. RMC’s customer had a site with an existing flexface system that had plastic elements within the design but now needed a fire resistant alternative. The benefits of our superior and safety conscious UPVc free NovaFlex system was clearly the right choice. Alongside RMC, we are now looking to innovate on the last component of signage manufacture, the printed skin or graphic. Prototypes are already in place to produce a product with a rating to be class 0 and fire resistant up to 600oC. We will of course let you know as soon as the testing phase is complete!

Black Clip Tension System