GUIDE TO FIRE RESISTANCE
Our previous post explained the difference between Resistance to Fire and Reaction to Fire. We talked about why we better know the Reaction to Fire of an insulated metal panel, and in which case we need our insulated panels to ensure a specific Resistance to Fire.
THREE VALUES DEFINE RESISTANCE TO FIRE:
“R”: stands for mechanical resistance, load-bearing capacity.
“E”: is the insulated panel’s capability to contain fire and smoke from spreading to the other side of the roof or wall.
“I”: is the insulated panel’s capability to contain the heat of the fire from spreading to the other side of the roof or wall.
WHY DO WALL INSULATED PANELS ONLY HAVE AN EI VALUE FOR FIRE RESISTANCE?
Now let’s see an interesting question that a customer has recently asked me: can we deliver REI wall panels? The answer is not. We can deliver EI wall sandwich panels, not REI.
Why so? The reason is that “R” means mechanical resistance, in this case, resistance to the payload or the capability of a roof metal panel to withstand its weight in case of fire.
That value is of crucial importance for the safety rating of a building: firefighters know that a particular roof can stand for a specific time before collapsing, so they can enter a building and save human lives and be able to exit safely.
That is why we can’t apply REI to a wall panel because a wall panel doesn’t bear any payload.
But, both roof panels and wall panels share E and I, because both have to perform those tasks for the time stated in the certificate.
So now we know that the REI value works for the roof metal panel, while EI does it for wall metal panels. The number that follows the REI/EI title expresses the resistance time: if it’s EI 120, it means that the wall panels can resist up to 120 minutes performing Fire Containment and Heat Insulation.
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