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Company withdraws sales of cladding linked to Grenfell Tower blaze

Arconic said it was discontinuing the product due to “the inconsistency of building codes across the world”.

A man watches smoke pouring from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London.
A man watches smoke pouring from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London.
Image: Stevenn_Paston

THE COMPANY THAT makes the cladding that has been implicated in Grenfell Tower fire has withdrawn the material from sale for high-rise blocks.

US company Arconic said it was discontinuing global sales of its product Reynobond PE – the aluminium cladding with a plastic core which was fitted to Grenfell Tower.

At least 79 people lost their lives earlier this month as an inferno ripped through the tower block in west London.

As emergency services continue to search through the ashes of the gutted building, suspicion has fallen on the recently installed cladding with allegations it may have contributed to the ferocity of the fire.

Cladding is a covering put on the exterior of a structure for a number of reasons, including to improve its energy efficiency.

In a statement, Arconic said it was discontinuing the product due to “the inconsistency of building codes across the world”.

“Arconic is discontinuing global sales of Reynobond PE for use in high-rise applications,” the statement reads.

“We believe this is the right decision because of the inconsistency of building codes across the world and issues that have arisen in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy regarding code compliance of cladding systems in the context of buildings’ overall designs.

We will continue to fully support the authorities as they investigate this tragedy.

The Reynobond PE cladding is one of several options offered by the company, and is not the most fire-retardant.

It is banned for use in a number of countries but not in the UK. Sales for use in low-rise buildings will continue.

The withdrawal comes as the UK government confirmed that samples of cladding taken from 75 high-rise buildings across the UK had failed safety tests.

With reporting from AFP

Read: 60 high-rise buildings across the UK have failed fire safety tests

Read: ‘You will need to check out by 4pm’: Grenfell Tower survivors given hours’ notice to leave hotel

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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