Radio-frequency anechoic chambers are essential in validating telecommunications equipment and a significant fire risk. Shaun Jones elaborates.
“Not only the RF ones but the acoustic chambers as well. It is not the operations inside these that are dangerous, at least not as long as the electrical equipment is functioning correctly. The pyramid-shaped diffusers are the problem – you want to ensure whatever fire breaks out inside the room is contained for as long as possible”, Stancold’s industrial partitioning expert starts. The diffusers in question are made of rubber foam and coated in substances that melt into toxic fumes while accelerating the fire spread.
Based on our previous successful visit, when we built two similar rooms, the client contacted Stancold to add more chambers to their facilities.
“They’re a global manufacturer who needed to up their capacity for testing industrial wireless devices. Validation procedures are important in their process – we don’t like our networks to run slowly at home, so you can imagine what it’s like when your Wi-Fi reliability is business critical”, Shaun continues.
The 50 m² room required a fire rating of 60 minutes. Unusual to our typical installations, it required no fire-stopping.
“We would only do this if the panels connect to an existing structure – this chamber is a self-standing box, therefore requiring no fire-stopping. These situations can be quite confusing and always need an expert’s eye, otherwise, the clients are wasting their money on unnecessary costs. It’s important to value-engineer whenever possible, given recent price increases. We installed two such rooms in this facility a few years ago, and the rising costs surprised our clients… We try to cut costs as best as we can without cutting corners – not with fire risk being a factor”, Shaun explains.
Our team is starting the installation soon, with Sam Glover leading the project.