Research and development of balconies is a fundamental part of the success of Sapphire innovations. Not just on site but throughout their lifespan. understanding how and why is achieved not only through extensive theory based analysis but significant testing.
Sapphire place significant value in testing. Both in our own test facilities and with reputable external test companies. Sapphire undertake their own and also commission specialists in their fields to test components both with software for example FEA and structural calculations as well as bespoke and standard representative samples.
By doing so Sapphire can refine, replace and improve existing products and test out market leading innovations both in terms of concepts and in materials.
Our Cassette® system has been rigorously tested by a UKAS accredited organisation. Their report concluded that the results for the samples tested showed:
- Connections to concrete slabs. Across multiple tests the lowest failure rate was 64kNm, which is more than twice the maximum load of 30kNm per anchor which Sapphire typically design to.
- Deflection of balcony Cassette®. The maximum deflection from testing was Length/403, which is more than twice as rigid as the L/180 limit for cantilevers suggested in BS EN 1993.
- Balustrade glass deflection. The highest deflection was only 16.4mm at a load of 0.74kN/m across multiple glass panel tests with no capping/handrail in place, and end panels with capping in place, reduced the deflection to 8mm at a load of 0.74kN/m.
- Balustrade glass impact resistance. The glass balustrade successfully withstood a 95J impact from a 50kg double tyre impactor
- Wind pressure. Tests were carried out using pressures of 2.2kPa with no failure and no visible damage to the soffits or fascias.
- Glass post-breakage. Even with one of the two layers broken, and with no capping to support, every one of the panels withstood substantially more than the required load of 0.74kN/m.
- Weather testing. Testing in a Hygrothermal chamber with repeated exposure to temperatures from -20°C to 70°C in both dry, and wet conditions with salt spray to simulate weathering in exposed areas such as sea fronts, the test simulated how a balcony could withstood these conditions with no damage or degradation, and fixings remaining in full working order.
- Fatigue loading. Cyclical fatigue testing of 7686 cycles to simulate 60 years of fatigue loading, showed no component failure. This showed how a balcony could potential remain safe, especially when building operators instigate a recommended maintenance procedures at least every 5 years to ensure tightness of key components like clamping bolts.