Arconic, the company that made the Grenfell Tower cladding told a "misleading half-truth" to a British standards board, its boss has accepted. It only shared one successful fire test result with the British Board of Agrément (BBA), and not a failed result.
Arconic was awarded a product certificate for its Reynobond PE aluminium composite cladding in the UK by the BBA in 2008, opening up the possibility of more sales in the UK. However, Arconic's own fire tests of the product, years earlier, had produced very different outcomes.
The first, on a version of the cladding designed to fit flat against the outside of a building, resulted in a class B rating, on a scale from A1 to F, where A1 is best. This result would have allowed it to have been used on high-rise buildings such as Grenfell Tower.
The second test was carried out on a folded section of cladding, known in the industry as a "cassette". That test resulted in a class E rating as the cladding caught fire.
When Arconic applied to the BBA for the certificate, the inquiry heard, it sent the results of the first test, but not the second, despite being asked to provide more evidence.
The folded design was later chosen by designers for use on Grenfell Tower.
Richard Millett QC, put it to Claude Schmidt that Arconic had a contractual requirement to provide all relevant information upfront. Mr Millet asked if Mr Schmidt accepted that Arconic "was telling the BBA a misleading half-truth".
"Yes, you can see it like that," Mr Schmidt replied.
Mr Schmidt accepted Mr Millett's suggestion that any user of Arconic's product would see the test result as "absolutely crucial safety information"