We have recently published a series of articles about FIRE REACTION: this post explained that fire reaction is the behavior towards the fire of building materials, such as insulated metal panels. And this one explains how to read the fire reaction classification as per the European law UNI EN 13501.
In this article, we explain what we mean by FIRE RESISTANCE.
WHAT IS FIRE RESISTANCE?
Fire resistance stands for the time that a specific building material can withstand fire by preventing the spread of its consequences. Time is the crucial element of fire resistance: why? When we decide to build a warehouse, an office center, or a residential tower, we first make a project study. In that phase, architects and engineers decide what they want to build and choose the construction materials accordingly.
In specific cases, the building regulations and the insurance requirements want the building to ensure that fire spread will be limited and possibly controlled.
THERE ARE TWO SYSTEMS AVAILABLE FOR FIRE CONTROL
There are two systems available to control the fire: active systems, like sprinklers, and passive ones, like walls and ceilings, for example. This article will focus on the latter: passive fire prevention and containment systems, especially in case we use insulated metal panels.
HOW LONG WILL THE WALL INSULATED PANELS PREVENT THE SPREAD OF HEAT AND TOXIC SMOKE?
When deciding which building material to use, architects and engineers will have to check Fire Reaction first: will a sandwich panel contribute to the fire or not? Then, Fire Resistance: in case of fire, how many minutes will the roof panel standstill before collapsing? How long will you have persons to evacuate the building? How long will the doors prevent the spread of fire?
You see, when we talk about Fire Reaction, we ask a generic question: does this Rockwool wall panel contribute to the fire or not, or in which degree will the PIR roof panel feed the flames?
While, if we talk about Fire Resistance, the question is time-specific: how long does the Rockwool ceiling panel hold before falling? How long will the joints of the PIR wall metal panels block the heat? How long will the insulated roof panel stay in place before collapsing?
We will choose panels with a specific R.E.I and E.I. factor depending on our needs. We will explain it in the following article.