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    Promat Australia

    Promat Australia is a subsidiary of the Etex Group of companies, a global organisation with presence in more than 42 countries across all continents and employing over 15,000 dedicated people.

    We are recognised experts in passive fire protection systems with extensive technical knowledge and international experience in the fire protection field.

    From our headquarters, manufacturing and research facilities in Adelaide supported by our national sales and distribution network, we supply the widest range of fire-resistant products and passive fire protection systems in Australia, including PROMATECT® boards, CAFCO® sprays and intumescent coating systems, PROMASEAL® fire collars and fire stopping systems.

     

    FAQ


    Some products from our Firestopping range are now available to order online via https://www.promat-direct.co.uk/ Promat sell through a distributor network, please click the link below for a map of our major stockists https://www.promat.co.uk/en/reference/find-stockist

    For safety data sheets for Promat products please go to the Document library and filter by "Safety Data Sheets" using the document filter on the lower left hand side of the page. https://www.promat.co.uk/en/downloads

    The period of fire resistance given is primarily dependant on application. For more details see the relevant chapter of the Fire Protection Handbook. https://www.promat.co.uk/en/reference/fire-protection-handbook

    Promat products can be decorated using traditional methods. Please download the Technical Data Sheet below for full details. Please note that, if decorating boards that are fixed around heating appliances, then the chosen finish must also be capable or withstanding exposure to high temperatures. TDS056 - Promat Boards Plastering, Painting and Tiling https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/66BF5A50F41848CC8D31454BF0F41552

    For this application Promat recommend the use of PROMAFOUR® or SUPALUX®. Choice of correct product will be determined by the temperature to which the board will be exposed. SUPALUX® cannot be used where temperatures exceed 80°C so, if this is likely, then PROMAFOUR® should be used. Please note that the products must be mechanically fixed, they can not be "dot and dabbed" Please download the Technical Data Sheets below for more information. TDS151 - Wall Linings Around Domestic Heating Appliances https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/E48FC1FC75244D4DA8946FB6151A7D6E PROMAFOUR® Boards Product Guide https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/64E78EED1C844FB388D0760519417AB7 PROMAFOUR® System Product Guide https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/62AFA656F43D4603AD6CE6D74F03CF25

    Dormer Cheeks and Timber Framed external walls, that are within 1m of a relevant boundary, will need to provide fire resistance from both the internal and the external side of the wall. Promat SUPALUX® is recommended for this application. Please note that SUPALUX® is suitable for semi-exposed locations, such as soffits, but boards must be protected from direct weathering in this application, by use of an external grade cladding board/system. SUPALUX® can not be directly rendered, so a suitable carrier board would be needed if a render finish is required. Please download the appropriate document below for the full specification. TDS054 - 30 minute SUPALUX® Dormer Cheek https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/CC03280D65E2451D80F856AA959BDA5A TDS086 - 60 minute SUPALUX® Dormer Cheek https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/8A8CC071FF4C4D42917C0B8D18DC4AD2 TDS087 - 30 minute SUPALUX® Load Bearing External Wall https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/000E2EE480024AA3ADA91E3E796BD976 TDS044 - 60 minute SUPALUX® Load Bearing External Wall https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/3A2BD879E28B420C800C162A338F2CBE

    Promat have a number of solutions for upgrading existing timber doors, up to provide either 20 or 30 minutes fire protection. Please download the datasheets below for specification details. Promat do not have solutions for upgrading doors to provide more than 30 minutes fire protection and we would therefore recommend, if this is required, that advice is sought from an independent test authority TDS005 – 20 minute SUPALUX® and MASTERBOARD® Upgrade to Timber Doors https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/B7F69358BACD4AD9A405432BD51D2AD8 TDS006 – 30 minute SUPALUX® and MASTERBOARD® Upgrade to Timber Doors https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/6C359954055D45F19A4E14E1D42BBE2F For upgrades to timber doors which fall outside of our specifications Exova BM TRADA may be able to offer more information. http://www.exovabmtrada.com/en-gb/fire For Promat's range of steel doors offering up to 240 minutes please see the Doors section of the Promat UK websit https://www.promat.co.uk/en/applications/doors/doors

    Please refer to the fire stopping section of the Promat UK website or download our brochure below for full details of the Promat range of fire stopping products. https://www.promat.co.uk/en/applications/fire-stopping/fire-stopping PROMASEAL® Fire Stopping Installation Guide https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/6D60C003CC81420484E52F0BAE498288

    Please download appropriate datasheet, following links below, to see specification details for the use of Promat SUPALUX®, used to provide fire protection in a soffit or fascia application. These data sheets show the use of SUPALUX®, used in conjunction with a Marley Eternit external grade board. Other suitable external cladding materials can be used in this application. Alternatively, if required to provide 30 or 60 minutes fire protection to the underside of a timber joisted timber floor, where boards will be in a semi exposed application, then standard details from the Promat Fire protection Handbook can be used. Further details given in Fire Protection to timber floors section below. Unfortunately Promat UK do not have recommendations for products that can be used, fully externally, to provide fire protection to Oil Tanks. In our experience a brick or block wall is usually required. TDS003B – 30 minute SUPALUX® Marley Eternit Operal/Paintboard Soffit and Fascia https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/912543802B3B4D5397335C2137038C71 TDS004B - 60 minute SUPALUX® Marley Eternit Soffit and Fascia https://www.promat.co.uk/downloads/get/en/3DA3ED41C9584F70A37FE4288F31D8A9

    Promat have a range of timber stud partition solutions, using Promat SUPALUX® and MASTERBOARD®, that can be used to provide up to 120 minutes fire protection and steel stud partition solutions to provide up to 240 minutes fire protection. Please note that both SUPALUX® and MASTERBOARD® are calcium silicate boards, and can therefore be used for applications where boards would be exposed to water or high humidity. Please see Chapter 5 of the Promat Fire Protection Handbook for further details. https://www.promat.co.uk/en/reference/fire-protection-handbook

    Promat have solutions which can provide up to 120 minutes protection to the underside of timber floors. Please note that Promat MASTERBOARD® and SUPALUX® are Calcium silicate boards, and are suitable for use in unheated or semi exposed applications. Please see Chapter 4 of the Promat Fire Protection Handook. https://www.promat.co.uk/en/reference/fire-protection-handbook

    Promat SUPALUX® and Promat MASTERBOARD® are high performance Calcium Silicate derived building boards formulated without inorganic fibres and do not contain formaldehyde. Promat SUPALUX® is non-combustible and can provide fully certified fire protection of up to 240 minutes. Promat MASTERBOARD® is a versatile Class 0 building board suitable for use in a wide range of internal and semi-exposed applications. It is a material of limited combustibility and can be used in constructions providing up to 30 minutes fire protection. Promat MASTERBOARD® is BBA approved (certificate No 90/2500). Both boards are simple to work and fix, easy to decorate, resistant to the effects of moisture and will not rot or decay.

    Again this depends on the exact specification, but typically Promat SUPALUX® would be used. Please refer to our Promat SUPALUX® Applications Guide which can be found in the Documents Tab on the SUPALUX® page. Alternatively contact the Promat Technical Project Support Team on 01344 381400 for further advice.

    The importance of testing Historically, each country in the European Union has developed its own fire tests in support of its national building regulations. In the UK, these methods are British Standards. A common system of fire testing (reaction to fire and fire resistance) and classification of the resulting test data for construction products has been implemented across the EU member states. During the transition period, both BS and EN reaction to fire and fire resistance methods are referenced in Building Regulations Approved Document B. The following section shows both BS and EN test methods. Reaction to Fire (RtF) tests tell us how a product will become involved in the growth of fire in the room of origin, up to the time when flashover occurs, or does not occur. The data from specific small/intermediate reaction to fire test methods is assessed and provides a fire classification for the material. Fire resistance tests tell us how an element of construction or fire protection system will prevent a fully developed fire from causing structural collapse of the element, or prevent the fire from passing from the room of origin into an adjacent room, corridor or other space. Test on materials British Standard (BS) Reaction to Fire Classification BS 476: Part 4: 1970 Non-combustibility test for materials: classifies materials as either ‘non-combustible’ or ‘combustible’. It is the most stringent standard for the fire performance of materials and gives a measure of the heat and flames generated by the material under standard heating conditions. Non-combustible materials can be used without restriction anywhere in a building. Their use ensures that hazards due to smoke and toxic gases are minimised and that the fabric of a building will not make a contribution to a fire. BS 476: Part 6: 1989 Method of test for fire propagation for products: measures the amount and rate of heat evolved by the product while subjected to standard heating conditions. Test results are given as an Index of Performance (I) which is based on three sub-indices (i1, i2, i3). The higher the value of the Index, (I), the greater the material contribution to fire growth. The higher the value of the sub-index, i1 the greater the ease of ignition and flame spread. BS 476: Part 7: 1987 Method for classification of the surface spread of flame for products: classifies materials into Classes 1 to 4 in descending order of performance according to the rate and extent of flame spread over their surface under standard heating conditions. All Promat board products have the highest rating of surface spread of flame, i.e. Class 1. BS 476: Part 11: 1982 Method of assessing the heat emissions from building materials: describes a method for assessing the heat emissions from building materials when inserted into a furnace at a temperature of 750°C. It is similar to BS 476: Part 4: 1970 but differs in that Part 4 classifies the material as “combustible” or “non-combustible” whereas Part 11 criteria are specified in Approved Document B, leading to classification as a material of limited combustibility. European Reaction to Fire Classification Evidence obtained from test results allow the products to be classified according to BS EN 13501-1: Fire Classification of Construction Products and Building Elements: Part 1: Classification using test data from reaction to fire tests. BS EN ISO 1182 Non-Combustibility Test: the purpose of the non-combustibility test BS EN ISO 1182 is to identify the products that will not, or significantly not, contribute to a fire. A test specimen of cylindrical shape is inserted into a vertical tube furnace with a temperature of about 750°C. Temperate changes due to the possible burning of the specimen are monitored with thermocouples. The flaming time of the specimen is visually observed. After the test, the mass loss of the specimen is determined. The quantities used in the European classification are the temperature rise of the furnace (∆T), the mass loss of the specimen (∆m), and the time of sustained flaming of the specimen (tf). BS EN ISO 1716 Gross Calorific Potential Test: the gross calorific potential test BS EN ISO 1716 determines the potential maximum total heat release of a product when burned completely. A powdery test specimen is ignited in pressurised oxygen atmosphere inside a closed steel cylinder (calorimetric bomb) surrounded by water jacket. The temperature rise of water during burning is measured. The gross calorific potential is calculated on the basis of the temperature rise, specimen mass, and correction factors related to the specific test arrangement used. BS EN 13823: Single Burning Item (SBI) Test: the reaction to fire test method used as part of determining European classes A2, B, C and D. It is always conducted in addition to other European reaction to fire test methods. The single burning item test was originally developed to simulate a wastepaper basket fire. It utilises a 30kW burner in the corner of a room that is lined by the material or product which is to be classified. External wall claddings can also be tested in the same way even though some buildings may not have such an “internal” corner detail in reality. The test method analyses the products of combustion. From this data, calculations are made to determine Total Heat Release (THR) and Fire Growth Rate (FIGRA). How quickly a fire develops and how much heat energy is produced are the crucial factors in determining the ease of evacuation from a building. These values are then used to determine the class (A2, B, C or D). A Lateral Flame Spread (LFS) observation is used to see whether flames spread across the test specimen’s long wing during the test. If this occurs beyond specified limits, the product or material can only reach a European class D. Measurement of the smoke produced and observation of any flaming droplets or particles are used to determine the additional classifications s1 to s3 and d0 to d2. European Reaction to Fire Testing Standards BS EN ISO 11925-2: Single Flame Ignitability (SFI) Test: simulates a cigarette lighter size flame being placed upon either the surface or the edge of the specimens for a short duration (15 or 30 seconds). The time to ignition and the time until the flames spread up and exceed 150mm above the flame application point are recorded. These results on their own are then used to determine classification to E or potentially F. This test is used in conjunction with the SBI test for classes B, C and D. The table below shows which European reaction to fire test evidence is required to gain each European classification. Euroclass European Test Standards A1 BS EN ISO 1182 BS EN ISO 1716 A2 BS EN ISO 1182 BS EN ISO 1716 BS EN ISO 13823 B BS EN ISO 13823 BS EN ISO 11925-2 C BS EN ISO 13823 BS EN ISO 11925-2 D BS EN ISO 13823 BS EN ISO 11925-2 E BS EN ISO 11925-2 F No performance determined Fire testing methods The fire performance of any system will vary depending on the heating conditions to which it is exposed. National and international fire curves have been developed for differing fire exposures. Examples of fire curves carried out in test furnaces by recognised national organisations are as follows: The Standard Cellulosic Time-Temperature Curve (ISO 834): this ISO-based curve is used in standards throughout the world, including BS 476, AS 1530, DIN 4102, ASTM and the new European Norm (BS EN 1363-1). It is a model of a ventilated controlled natural fire, i.e. fires in a normal building. The temperature increase after 30 minutes is 842°C. The Hydrocarbon Curve: simulation of a ventilated oil fire with a temperature increase of 1110°C after 30 minutes. The Hydrocarbon Curve is applicable where petroleum fires might occur, i.e. petrol or oil tanks, certain chemical types etc. In fact, although the Hydrocarbon Curve is based on a standardised type fire, there are numerous types of fire associated with petrochemical fuels, which have wide variations in the duration of the fire, ranging from seconds to days. The RABT Curve: developed in Germany as a result of a series of test programmes such as the Eureka project. In the RABT Curve (car), the temperature rise is very rapid up to 1200°C within 5 minutes. The duration of the 1200°C exposure is shorter than other curves with the temperature drop off starting to occur at 60 minutes. The curve relating to trains is also shown. The RWS Curve (Rijkswaterstaat), NL: this model of a petroleum based fire of 300MW fire load in an enclosed area such as a tunnel, has been developed in the Netherlands and is specified for use in tunnels. It is internationally accepted. The temperature increase after 30 minutes is 1300°C. British Standard (BS) fire testing performance Fire resistance is not a property of an individual material but is the measure of the performance of a complete system or construction when exposed to standard heating conditions. The failure criteria of elements of building construction when tested in accordance with BS 476: Parts 20-24 are as follows: Loadbearing Capacity: the ability of a specimen of a loadbearing element to support its test load, where appropriate, without exceeding specified criteria with respect to either the extent of, or rate of deformation, or both. Integrity: the ability of a specimen of a separating element to contain a fire to specified criteria for collapse, freedom from holes, cracks and fissures and sustained flaming on the unexposed face. Insulation: the ability of a specimen of a separating element to restrict the temperature rise of the unexposed face to below specified levels (usually 140°C mean rise, 180°C maximum rise). Stability: the ability of a ductwork system to maintain its intended function. The above references (R, E and I) are commonly used within the fire protection industry when referring to BS 476 methods, however, they are actually European EN terms, as opposed to British Standard terms. European Fire Resistance Classes The classification of construction products and building elements provides a means of expressing the fire resistance of these elements. Classification According to the Direct Field of Application (DIAP): is based on data from fire resistance and smoke leakage tests which are within the direct field of application of the relevant test standard (in accordance with the classification standard EN 13501) Designation of the Fire Resistance Class: the fire resistance class is indicated by means of a combination of letters and numbers. The letters refer to the different performance parameters, as far as those apply to the element in question. The performance parameters are: R: Loadbearing Capacity E: Integrity I: Thermal Insulation W: Limitation of Radiation M: Mechanical Resistance C: Self Closure S: Smoke Leakage G: Soot Fire Resistance K: Fire Protection During the test, it is determined how long the building element preserves the tested performance when exposed to fire. Each performance has a number of criteria which determine when a building element loses that performance (see below). Based on the test, the building element is assigned one of the following fire resistance classes: resistance to fire during 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240 or 360 minutes. Loadbearing Capacity (R): the ability of the construction element to withstand specified mechanical actions whilst being exposed to fire, at one or more sides, during a determined period of time, without loss of structural stability. The criteria applied to determine the loss of stability, vary according to the type of load bearing element: For flexurally loaded elements, such as floors, roofs: A rate of deformation (rate of deflection) A limit state of the actual deformation (deflection) For axially loaded elements, such as columns, walls: A rate of deformation (rate of contraction) A limit state for the actual deformation (contraction). Integrity (E): the ability of the construction element with a separating function to withstand exposure to fire on one side without fire propagation to the unexposed side as a consequence of flaming or the passage of hot gases. The integrity is evaluated on the basis of the following three aspects: Cracks or openings exceeding the given dimensions Ignition of a cotton pad Sustained flaming on the unexposed side. Thermal Insulation (I): the ability of the construction element to withstand exposure to fire on one side without fire propagation to the unexposed side as a consequence of heat transfer. Thermal insulation limits the heat transfer as a result of which neither the unexposed side nor adjacent materials will ignite. Limitation of Radiation (W): the limitation of radiation is the ability of a construction element - when exposed to fire on one side - to reduce the probability of fire propagation as a consequence of a significant heat radiation, either through the element or from the unexposed surface to adjacent materials. The limitation of heat radiation is determined by the period of time for which the maximum value of radiation, measured as specified in the test standard, does not exceed the limit value of 15kW/m2. Mechanical Resistance (M): the ability of a construction element to withstand an impact representing the effect caused by the structural failure of an other component. The element is subjected to a predefined impact shortly after it has been tested to determine its load bearing capacity, integrity and/or thermal insulation. The element should resist the impact without prejudice to the R, E and/or I performance. Self Closure (C): the ability of an open door or window to close fully and to engage a fitted latching device, without human intervention so only by stored energy or by means of electricity backed by a system of stored energy in case of power failure. This applies to elements that are mostly closed and should close automatically when opened and to elements that are mostly open and should close automatically in case of fire. Smoke Leakage (S): the ability of a construction element to reduce or eliminate the passage of hot/cold gases or smoke from one side of the element to the other. Soot Fire Resistance (G): the ability of a chimney or related construction elements to withstand soot fire. This includes aspects of smoke leakage and thermal insulation. Fire Protection (K): the ability of a wall or ceiling covering to provide protection against ignition, charring and other damage to the materials behind the coverings for a specified period of time. Coverings are the outer surfaces of construction elements such as walls, floors and roofings. Classification According to the Extended Field of Application (EXAP) A classification based on the extended field of application is not covered by the above referenced standard (EN 13501), but it is assigned according to the European Standard EN15524. The designation of the classification is nevertheless the same as specified in the classification standard.

    In the UK, Promat endorses the use of third party accreditation bodies such as CERTIFIRE and The Fire Accreditation Scheme (FIRAS) and believes that the credibility given by authorities like these gives the whole marketplace confidence in not only the product, but also the installation. Promat continue to push the development of fire protection systems further, constantly searching for improvement for the construction industry as a whole through representation at trade associations, BSI and CEN technical committees.

    The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order came into force on 1st October 2006 and brings together the many pieces of fire legislation under one document. It covers fire safety within all public premises, office and commercial buildings. The order puts the responsibility for fire safety on the building owner or occupier, or ‘responsible person’ and replaced the issue of Fire Certificates by the Fire and Rescue Service. A lack of adherence to the order can lead to prosecution and either a fine or penal sentence. This has been the biggest change in fire legislation in many years and has driven the need for quality, tested products to new levels.

    Our fire collars, PROMASEAL® IBS, PROMASEAL® Fyrestrip, PROMASEAL® FlexiWrap and other intumescent based products are produced in our Adelaide manufacturing facility. Our CAFCO vermiculite sprays are also produced in Australia. Our boards and sealants are produced by our sister companies in Europe and Asia

    Requirements differ from state to state in terms of the training requirements for installing fire resistant products. But we would recommend that anyone who is installing our products have some training, as there are specific things that need to be done for each installation to ensure that (1) it is compliant and (2) that it will work.

    Generally speaking PROMATECT boards are designed for internal applications and should avoid getting wet. However we do have some boards that can be used in semi-exposed or exposed situation please contact us via our technical enquiry page for further advice on your specific application.

    We have distribution centres in Sydney and Adelaide and distributors in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Our fire collars and other penetration seal products are also available through Reece, Tradelink, Plumbers Supplies Co-op and other plumbing products merchants.

    A test report or assessment is a valuable document so we as a company have made a decision to not post them directly to our website. Without a proper knowledge or understanding of what the report is saying, incorrect assumptions might be made. So our philosophy is that the test report or assessment is provided with full technical assistance to ensure you have the right report for your application. In the documents section a series of System Certificates for various products and applications will advise what has been tested and the report number that it comes from. To obtain copies of test or assessment reports please contact your nearest office or fill in a technical request and our team will be in contact.

    An FRL is an abbreviation or acronym for (F)ire (R)esistance (L)evel and it set out in the format similar to this -/60/60. They indicate what period of time a system will resist fire for. The National Construction Code sets out what FRL's are required for various different situations and they will vary depending on the height and class of building that is being used. Each number is a time period that refers to a an elements ability to resist fire in terms of different requirements. The requirements are structural adequacy (the ability to remain standing), integrity (stopping flame and hot gasses from passing through) and insulation (stopping heat from passing through). For further information on this subject click here

    The insulation criteria is the third number in an FRL. It relates to stopping heat transfer from a fire affected compartment through a fire rated barrier. It also applies to the services passing through those barriers, so it will often mean that a service such as a metal pipe will require somesort of barrier of wrap to be applied for it to acheive this requriement. More info on this can be found here

    Passive fire protection refers to elements that are far of the structure of the building. These include compartmentation, such as fire resistant walls and ceiling, structural protection of both steel and concrete elements and service protection through service penetration seals or fire resistant ducts or enclosures. These systems are designed to stop a fire spreading from its area of origin and require no further inputs such as power or water for them to do their job. On the other side are the active systems such as sprinklers, hydrants and smoke extraction which use water and other substances to supress the fire itself. The best buildings use a combination of both systems to keep the occupants safe.

    Fire is the ultimate in destructive forces and the sheer amount of damages and fear it can create is amazing. The main consequences of fire are: Death - this is a very real risk. Fire, and its consequences which are toxic gases and smoke, are extremely dangerous for human being. Every year more than 3000 people are killed by fire in USA and about 4000* in Europe! Injury - about 10% of all personal injuries reported each year are caused by fire. in Europe 190 people are hospitalized every day with serious fire injuries*. Building damage - can be very significant, particularly if the building materials have poor fire resistance and there is little or no built-in fire protection. In Europe 126 billion €, or 1% of European GDP* , burned in fire costs yearly. In USA, the situation is even worse, resulting in damages and losses of $329 billion**, or 2.1 percent of the US gross domestic product! Loss of business and jobs - it is estimated that about 40% of businesses do not start up again after a significant fire. Many small companies often cannot afford the time and expense of setting up again their activities. Environmental damage - the fire and/or fighting the fire - fire-fighting water, the products of combustion can contaminate significant areas around the fire site. *FSEU – year 2020 and **NFPA year 2017

    To keep a fire, hot smoke and gases where they are by creating boundaries to stop their propagation, leaving enough time for the occupants to escape safely. It is also meant to give time to the fire brigade to enter the building, check if all the occupants have actually left or help those who can't get out on their own, and then fight the fire itself before it spreads to other compartments. Splitting a building into compartments also means that fire and smoke damage will be limited to the compartment involved in the initial fire, while the rest of the building, and the property it contains, will remain safe.

    Compartment elements can be split in two main groups: > Vertical partitions - Non-loadbearing partition walls are often brick, concrete or lightweight walls such as PROMATECT board or plasterboard. In some cases, the existing walls need to be upgraded to reach the fire resistance rating asked by the local regulation or by the specifier. Even loadbearing walls, such as concrete walls, could need upgrading to increase their fire resistance. > Horizontal compartmentation - A natural horizontal compartmentation is the floor itself. If the floor on its own does not meet the fire resistance criteria, passive fire protection is then needed. The most common horizontal compartmentation systems are: > Concrete Slabs > Membrane ceilings > Suspended ceilings > Combined Floor / Ceiling Systems

    Even if firestop systems are tested at very high temperature (usually more than 1000°C.), these tests are under fire conditions (so with a growing fire curve up to 2 or even 4 hours maximum) and not day to day constant exposure to high temperatures. Most firestop systems start to react, changing chemically or physically at relatively low temperatures (100 to 200°C), such as the intumescent materials and the endothermic coatings. Therefore, these products cannot be used as “high temperature sealant”.

    For any service that penetrates a fire rated element, the Building Code requires that the service penetration maintain the same FRL as the element. There is no minimum size where it is not required. The type of service and element and the required FRL will determine what type of product is used to do the sealing.

    The Promat Fire Collar range contains a product called Grafitex. This is an intumsecent product which when heated beyond a certain temperature will expand and form an insulating char which stops flames, hot gasses from passing through it and slows the rate at which heat will pass. Where a combustible service such as a plastic pipe is penetrating a fire resistant element this expansion is important as the plastic will melt leaving a hole, so the intumescent material expands and fills up that hole, to ensure that the fire resistant element is not breached.

    The answer to this question is two fold. Firstly the NCC in Clause 3.15 requires that the system used to protect service penetrations is identical to what has been tested. The second part is that AS1530.4 has a specific way of testing for floor waste installations. The placement of the temperature sensors (thermocouples) in the floor waste test is such that the fire collar that is used must be able to close off much more quickly to stop the heat transfer, than in a situation where the pipe continues above the slab. This means that the collars used in this situation generally have a mechanical and an intumsecent component, which assists in closing the collar more quickly.

    When steel is heated to temperatures of 400°C to 800°C, its strength gradually decreases. The stiffness of steel starts to decreases at 100°C. The reduction in strength and stiffness will cause large deformations and eventually collapse of building elements. As steel structures are generally slender and steel has a high thermal conductivity, they tend to heat up fast when exposed to fire. By applying a protective shell around the steel element or a fire shield such as a fire-rated suspended ceiling, the heating up of the steel is delayed and collapse can be postponed or avoided.

    Although concrete heats up relatively slowly during fire, there are still ways that a concrete element can fail. The most common failure mechanism is when the concrete cover on the steel reinforcement is not thick enough to keep the reinforcement temperature down. This is often the case for old buildings and for buildings with very high fire resistance requirements. Fire protection can compensate for the lack of concrete cover thickness. However, in cases where concrete is exposed to humid environments and/or potentially more severe fire temperatures, spalling of concrete poses an additional risk. Spalling of concrete causes quick and explosive detachment of layers of the concrete structure, usually occurring in the first 5 to 30 minutes of the fire, even if the temperature is still quite low, and exposing the steel reinforcement directly to the flames. In such cases it is necessary to apply fire protection to make sure that the concrete temperatures remain low and spalling does not occur.


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