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Strongwell Reviews (1)

Review: Strongwell markets their Durashield Foam Core Building Panel as a complete building panel system suitable for construction of modular buildings "designed to be used as walls". Implying that no other wall assembly is required other than the Durashield panel which is a fiberglass skin over foam plastic insulation.Strongwell falsely claims that the Durashield Panels are "flame rdant" based on UL 94 testing of the fiberglass resin where UL 94 is the "Test for Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices and Appliances". This testing is not indicative of a wall assemblies being flame rdent. Furthermore all model building codes require foam plastic insulation to be separated from the building interior by a thermal barrier or must have passed alternative testing proving equivlancy. The Durashield panels do not include a perscriptive thermal barrier and has not undergone alternative testing. Additionally the marketing literature indicates the fiberglass is a Class 1 interior finish per ASTM E 84 testing. However, the products [redacted] Laboratory ASTM E 84 Test Report indicates that smoke generation is at least 850 which is significantly higher than the maximum allowable 450 by all model building codes. This increased smoke development could potentially create obscutration during a fire event trapping occupants in a building.Desired Settlement: Strongwell should test their existing formula fiberglass resin skinned, foam core "Durashield" wall panel with a coating or other material to NFPA 268 free of charge, provide this coating to me in suffecient quantities to cover the interior wall panels of my building free of charge, and inform all past purchasers of Durashield panels of the risk assocaited with installations where these panels are installed and exposed to the building interior.



Strongwell has reviewed your August 31, 2015 letter and the complaint filed against our company on August 20, 2015.The product referenced in the complaint is DURASHIELD@ Fiberglass Foam Core Building Panels manufactured by Strongwell. In 1996 Strongwell (which was then MMFG until name changed on July 1, 1997 to Strongwell) sold such panels to [redacted] our authorized distributor located in [redacted] It is our understanding that [redacted] received an order from BP to assemble/fabricate these panels into an enclosure. We further understand the enclosure at some point was later sold by BP to the company filing the complaint. Strongwell was not involved in the transactions, including specification of materials and engineering of structures.That said, the issue that involves Strongwell is the claims made by our company regarding DURASHIELD@ panels. Accordingly, after a comprehensive review of your letter, we have the following comments:1. DURASHIELD@ panels are designed and marketed for use in industrial building applications. This product has never been marketed by Strongwell for commercial or residential construction.2. DURASHIELD@ literature is explicit in stating the resin systems used for manufacturing this building panel meet the UL 94 VO rating for flammability. We stand by this claim. We do not claim these panels meet any building codes for fire or any specific building code of any kind.3. Strongwell literature identifies DURASHIELD@ as having a flame spread rating of "Max 25" per ASTM E84. No claim of a "Class 1 interior finish" in accordance with ASTM E84 testing as listed in the complaint is referenced in the literature. This product is not marketed with any claims to its surface finish.4. We acknowledge that the resin systems used in the manufacturing of DURASHIELD@ will generate smoke. For this reason, Strongwell literature does not claim the DURASHIELD@ panel meets the ASTM E84 smoke generation of 450 required by the building code and do not claim these panels can be used where smoke generation is a concern.5. Strongwell's literature makes no claims or references to any NFPA fìre standards and specifically has not claimed DURASHIELD@ will meet NFPA 268 which the claimant desires. We have no plans to pursue a NFPA 268 fire ratingfor [email protected] Strongwell was not a party to the apparent transaction between ** and the claimant, we make no comment to claims that may have been made or inferred between them regarding code applicability and smoke generation. Further, we accept no responsibility for actions listed under "Desired Settlement" which are intended to make DURASHTELD@ meet codes for which it was not designed, intended, marketed or sold.We do, however, accept full responsibility for all claims made in DURASHIELD@ literature. For your review, we have enclosed copies of literature that existed in the mid/late 1990's (when Strongwell was known as MMFG) as well as our current DURASHIELD@ literature. Without qualification, we believe all claims to be accurate and truthful.In closing, we ask you to be aware that we take this complaint seriously and believe we are responding fairly. If you have any questions, I encourage you to call me at your convenience.Sincerely,[redacted]Phone: [redacted]



I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID

[redacted], and find that this resolution is not satisfactory to me but I wish to

waste no further time on this matter as we are unliklely to reach agreement therefore I suggest this complaint be closed.

I do want

to go on record as stating that I am not raising this complaint as part of any

business or organization but as a licensed professional Fire Protection

Engineer in both [redacted] and [redacted] with a professional obligation to raise

awareness where misleading product claims may have adverse impact on fire protection

and life safety of the public be it related to residential, commercial, or

industrial structures. When I raised my concern directly to the VP of Sales and

Engineering, [redacted], on 8/20/2015 I was told that Strongwell would not

pursue any testing related to thermal barrier equivalents or update marketing

materials because there was "no financial value" to Strongwell in

doing so.

In regard

to the response provided by the business I would like it on record that while

they state "1. DURASHIELD@ panels are designed and marketed for use in

industrial building applications. This product has never been marketed by

Strongwell for commercial or residential construction." model building

codes (NFPA 5000, Uniform building Code, International Building Code, etc.) are

adopted in all 50 States as well as by the U.S. government for federal

projects. These codes include requirements for foam panels to meet standalone

testing or be separated by a prescriptive thermal barrier in industrial

buildings. These requirements have been included in model building codes for

some years and in my career I have never come across an "Authority Having

Jurisdiction" that provides industrial buildings with a wholesale

exemption from compliance with the applicable adopted model codes. The fact

that DURASHEILD Foam Core Building Panels are marketed for industrial

applications has no bearing on the applicability of code requirements for

thermal barriers. And generally, due to the more significant hazards associated

with industrial buildings, overall code requirements are very often more

stringent, not less.

While all

other statements provided by the business are technically accurate I still

firmly believe that the literature overall creates a misleading picture of the

acceptability of the DURASHEILD Foam Core Building Panel as a standalone

building panel through omission of information related to thermal barriers. The

literature should be updated to include instruction that if a building using DURASHEILD

Foam Core Building Panel is subject to compliance with a building code, which

virtually every building is, then a thermal barrier or thermal barrier

equivalent is required. Competitors of Strongwell are able provide either

standalone or thermal barrier equivalent or otherwise indicate in the marketing

and technical data sheets that a thermal barriers is required depending on applicable

codes / regulations for a given project.


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Address: 400 Commonwealth Avenue, Bristol, Virginia, United States, 24201


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