Research & Development
Research and development is a fundamental part of the success of our innovations. The R&D we carry out is not just testing our balconies performance while on site, but throughout their lifespan too.
We place significant value in research and testing, both in our own test facilities and with reputable external test companies. We undertake in-house and commission specialists to test components. We use both software (for example, FEA and structural calculations) as well as bespoke and standard representative samples.
By doing so we 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. This is more than twice the maximum load of 30kNm per anchor which we 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 seafronts, the test simulated how a balcony could withstand 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.
Innovation & Patents
Innovation is an inherent value at Sapphire. From our roots innovation has been a key driver in our growth...
People are at the core of everything we do at Sapphire, We enjoy supporting and growing our team underpinned by...
Sapphire’s glide-on balcony concept is so simple and yet very clever. It provides a really fast and flexible solution for this type of high-rise residential development
Design Coordinator – Bouygues UK
With Sapphire you get a complete offsite manufactured balcony that can be installed with very little fuss.
Berkeley Group at Royal Arsenal
Having experienced the many benefits of Sapphire Cassette® balconies at Green Man Lane, we shan’t be going back to the old way!
Construction Manager – Rydon Construction
Sapphire balcony’s are an excellent design, resulting in high quality and rapid installation.
Project Manager – Durkan Limited
Your balconies were great from a design point of view and your team were all very helpful.
Technical Manager – Bellway