Research and Testing


The Insulated Panel Council Australasia Ltd (IPCA Ltd.) commissioned a literature review of all publically available information, such as test reports, science papers, case studies, press reports and research reports that related to Sandwich Panels. Another objective of the review was to identify solutions to the matters raised by the Fire Brigades that can be adopted by the industry in the CODE.
Also undertaken was additional testing of Sandwich Panels to confirm the fire performance of Sandwich Panels. The Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) was also looking into ways at improving the fire performance on ISP core.  The end result has been the determination that a combination of improved construction detail and risk management will significantly reduce the risk of buildings made with insulated cored ISP, catching fire in the first place, Panels falling down and total losses occurring.  The work conducted by BRANZ showed some interesting and positive outcomes in terms of mitigating the risks involved in using insulated Panels.
To verify and confirm that the results of the testing undertaken by BRANZ in the research project, representatives of the NSW Fire Brigade and the Insulated Panel Council Australasia Ltd (IPCA Ltd.) travelled to BRANZ in 2010 and repeated the tests that undertaken for the above BRANZ project. The results of the testing were identical to the previous results, thus confirming that the additional measures in the CODE were relevant as well as confirming earlier results that fire did not spread within the Panel.
In April of 2011 further testing was undertaken in conjunction with AFAC and the University of NSW demonstrating the results of the BRANZ test and additional testing comparing non fire retarded ISP to fire retardant ISP. The results again confirmed that the fire does not spread within the Panel and the fire retardant ISP does not propagate fire when ignited.


This literature review not only provided examples of risks that needed to be mitigated and methods by which those risks could be mitigated  but the literature review also provided interesting information , often contradictory, as to the performance of ISP in fire. There were several very surprising findings from credible sources that have refuted many of the critical performance aspects of ISP. 


The Insulated Panel Council of Australasia Ltd (IPCA) in conjunction with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the New South Wales Fire & Rescue Service (NSWFRS) has been successful in obtaining an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant to conduct research on “Insulated Sandwich Panel in High Temperature Environment”.
For further information see the Press Release under the News section on our website.