TBA’S Phoenix Upgrades Fire Protection Within RAF Manston History Museum

One of the high performance, flexible and very versatile fire-rated smoke and flame barriers manufactured by TBA FIREFLY™ has been employed at the iconic RAF Manston History Museum, located near Ramsgate in Kent, during the refurbishment of a single storey structure within one of the old hangars: housing a model of the rail depot which served the airfield during World War One.

The TBA FIREFLY™ Phoenix, widely specified in the UK for the creation of fire and smoke barriers, was supplied direct to the museum which gives its many thousands of visitors annually the chance to familiarise themselves with famous aircraft like the Gloster Meteor, Buccaneer, Tornado and English Electric Lightning, as well as early biplanes such as a Sopwith Strutter replica.

The refurbishment work has continued within the old buildings - vacated by the RAF when military activities ceased just before the Millennium - throughout much of the pandemic, paid for by private donation and some Government funding.

Peter Steele, who recently took over as Chairman of the museum, commented: “The model of the Manston service depot, which supplied the airfield back in the First World War, has been here in the museum for some 20 years. When the room was built, however, they had just installed a cotton fabric across the soffit, which we discovered was not flame resistant so I started looking for an alternative.

Having searched online there were a number of possible materials, but the FIREFLY Phoenix met all the requirements and was readily available. We have a qualified team, with past experience of installing fire barriers, carrying out the replacement of the ceiling structure and installing the Firefly Phoenix.

We also received all the technical guidance we needed from TBA and found the installation very straightforward.”

The museum’s team has also made use of the special staples and perimeter seals available as part of the FIREFLYTM range, with the work expected to be completed in time for the first visitors returning to the airfield as soon as Covid restrictions are lifted this summer.

TBA FIREFLYTM Phoenix is a lightweight membrane developed to enable compartmentation within buildings to provide up to 120 minutes’ integrity under BS476 Parts 20 & 22. Certified by IFCC, the flexible and straightforward to install material meets the minimum requirements of the Building Regulations and is suitable for both new-build and retrofit situations.

Manufactured from woven and non-woven glass, the FIREFLYTM range is designed to optimise resistance to flame and smoke as well as offer heat protection in a wide range of scenarios. The membranes are easy to install horizontally or vertically using a full selection of ancillary products. Used mainly in the construction industry across the UK and Europe, FIREFLY™ Fire Barriers help to contain fire, giving building occupants extra time to evacuate and the fire service to enter safely.

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