Fire And Insulated Metal Panels


One of the top 3 hottest topics related to insulated metal panels is what happens when a fire occurs. We believe that this is the most crucial topic that we want to be clear about with our customers, so we encourage them to call us for any question related to the fire behavior of insulated metal panels (IMPs).


Do PUR insulated metal panels burn? Yes, they do, unless the PUR foam contains flame-retardant.

What does “self-extinguishing” means exactly? It can be tricky: literally, it means that a sandwich panel can put the fire off on its own. But we suggest you always look at the reaction classification: a B-s1,d0 class PIR panel can be self-extinguishing because PIR foam will char and avoid the fire to expand. On the contrary, an F-class rated PUR panel will never be self-extinguishing

If PIR is fire-resistant, why do I need to spend more on a ROCKWOOL insulated metal panel? Let’s clear a fundamental concept: PIR and ROCKWOOL panels are not alternative ones to the other. ROCKWOOL accomplishes a task that PIR cannot do: PIR foam can resist to a maximum of 30-60 minutes to fire. ROCKWOOL panel can resist up to 300 minutes to fire. So in many cases, PIR panels are not fire-resistant enough.

Why are PIR insulated panels more expensive than PUR ones? Basically, PUR and PIR share the same chemical components, only in different concentrations. The components that enhance behavior to the fire of PIR insulated panels are more expensive, and also, the industrial process to make PIR sandwich panels is more complicated. Therefore PIR panels are more expensive.

If ROCKWOOL insulated panels have a better overall fire behavior, it’s a no-brainer; no need to consider PIR panels, right? Not that easy: ROCKWOOL sandwich panels indeed have a better fire rating than PIR, but ROCKWOOL has a much lower thermal insulating value than PIR. That means that you need a much thicker ROCKWOOL panel to reach the same thermal performances of a PIR IMP, which means higher price, higher transport costs, and higher installation costs.

So what is the best solution? Call us and find out!


If you have any questions about the fire behavior of insulated metal panels, please contact us. We will gladly assist you with any questions you may have. You can reach us by completing the form below otherwise writing at Moreover, we highly recommend you read the following article about the difference between reaction and resistance to fire. 

Alberto Adriano

✓ Entrepreneur in the field of International Commerce of Industrial Thermal Insulation ✓ Sales Director at Globe Panels Ltd ✓ 12 years of experience in Sandwich Panels ✓ Exporting to Latin America since 2009.

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