:"Fireproof" redirects here. For the album, see
Fireproof (album). For the 2008 film, see Fireproof (2008 film)."Fireproofing, a passive fire protectionmeasure, refers to the act of making materials or structures more resistant to fire, or to those materials themselves, or the act of applying such materials. Applying a certification listed fireproofing system to certain structures allows these to have a fire-resistance rating. The term, fireproof, does not necessarily mean that an item cannot ever burn: It relates to measured performance under specific conditions of testing and evaluation. Fireproofing does not allow treated items to be entirely unaffected by any fire, as conventional materials are not immune to the effects of fire at a sufficient intensity and/or duration.
* Residential construction
* Industrial construction
* Marine (
Tunnel concretewalls and ceilings or linings
* Under and above ground mining operations
Structural steelto keep below critical temperature ca. 540 °C
* Electrical circuits to keep critical electrical circuits below 140 °C so they stay operational
Liquified petroleum gascontainers to prevent a BLEVE(boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion)
* Vessel skirts and pipe bridges in an
oil refineryor chemical plantto keep the structural steelbelow critical temperature ca. 540°
Concretelinings of traffic tunnels
Asbestosis one material historically used for fireproofing, either on its own, or together with binders such as cement, either in sprayed form or in pressed sheets, or as additives to a variety of materials and products, including fabrics for protective clothing and building materials. Because the material has proven to cause cancer in the long run, a large removal and replacement business has been established. Endothermicmaterials have also been used to a large extent and are still in use today, such as gypsum, concreteand other cementitious products. More highly evolved versions of these are used in aerodynamics, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and re-entry vehicles, such as the space shuttles.
The use of these older materials has been standardised in "old" systems, such as those listed in BS476, DIN4102 and the
National Building Code of Canada.
Alternative fireproofing methods
Among the conventional materials, purpose-designed spray fireproofing
plasters have become abundantly available the world over. The inorganic methods include:
* Cementitious plasters
* Fibrous plasters
The industry considers
gypsum-based plasters to be "cementitious", even though these contain no portland cement, or calcium aluminacement. Cementitious plasters that contain portland cement have been traditionally lightened by the use of inorganic lightweight aggregates, such as vermiculiteand perlite.
Gypsum plasters have been lightened by using chemical additives to create bubbles that displace solids, thus reducing the bulk density. Also, lightweight
polystyrenebeads have been mixed into the plasters at the factory in an effort to reduce the density, which generally results in a more effective insulation at a lower cost. The resulting plaster has qualified to the A2 combustibility rating as per DIN4102. Fibrous plasters, containing either mineral wool, or ceramicfibres tend to simply entrain more air, thus displacing the heavy fibres. On-site cost reduction efforts, at times purposely contravening the requirements of the certification listing, can further enhance such displacement of solids. This has resulted in architects' specifying the use of on-site testing of proper densities to ensure the products installed meet the certification listings employed for each installed configuration, because excessively light inorganic fireproofing does not provide adequate protection and are thus in violation of the listings.
New materials based on
organic chemistryare gaining in popularity for a variety of reasons. In land-based construction, thin-film intumescents have become more widely used. Unlike their inorganic competitors, thin-film intumescents are installed like paint, except that the purpose is to achieve a certain thickness, not just to apply a different colour, and do not require the concealment of structural steelelements such as I-beams and columns. Care must be taken to ensure that such products are protected from atmospheric moisture and operational heat, which can adversely affect these organic, covalently bound products. The use of [http://www.dibt.de/ DIBt] approved products, which mandates testing of the effects of ageing, is prudent.
intumescentand endothermic resinsystems tend to use an oilbasis (usually epoxy), which, when exposed to fire, creates so much smoke, that even though these products provide enough heat flow retardation towards the substrate, they tend to be banned from use inside of buildings because of the smoke they develop when subjected to fire, and are used mainly in exterior construction, such as LPG vessels, vessel skirts and pipe bridges in oil refineries, chemical plants and offshore oil and gas platforms.
Proprietary boards and sheets, made of
gypsum, calcium silicate, vermiculite, perlite, mechanically bonded composite boards made of punched sheet-metal and cellulose reinforced concrete (DuraSteel) have all been used to clad items for increased fire-resistance. Cladding is traditionally much more popular and organised in Europethan in North America. Fringe methods have also included intumescenttapes and sheets, as well as endothermically treated ceramic fibre sheets and roll materials. The latter work well but are not particularly popular due to cost reasons. Ordinary ceramic fibre, typically encased in thin aluminium foilis often used to protect pressurisation ductworkand grease ducts in North America. Such mineral wool(rock wool) wraps have been used in Europefor decades more than in North America. European construction sites tend to use much less expensive mineral wool wraps for duct fireproofing. All are qualified to the same test regime: ISO6944, with the exception that systems qualified for the North America market also undergo a hose-stream test immediately following the fire exposure in order to validate the firestop portion of the system.
The following examples of fraud are preventable when documentation is required and checked to ensure that all installed configurations fall within the tolerances of active certification listings.
* Entraining too much air in inorganic systems, thus reducing densities, saves on materials and labour.
* Spraying inorganic spray fireproofing materials over through-penetrations and building joints that should be
firestopped, not "fireproofed". This practice negates fire-separation integrity. Firestops must precede spray fireproofing.
intumescentand/or endothermicfireproofing coatings with less expensive paints that physically resemble the passive fire protectionproducts, sometimes involving re-use of packaging and de-canting of contents.
*The American and Canadian nuclear industries have, historically, not insisted on
listing and approval use and compliance, on the basis of the use of accredited certification laboratories. This has allowed the use of Thermo-Lag 330-1, for which the basis of testing has been proven to be faulty, resulting in millions of dollars of remedial work. The Thermo-Lag scandal came to light as a result of disclosures by American whistleblower Gerald W. Brown, who reported the deficiencies in fire testing to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Presently, product certificationof fireproofing and firestopping remains optional for systems installed in nuclear power plants both in Canadaand the United States.
Common errors in inorganic spray fireproofing
*Portland cement bound sprays display a high pH level at first. This has, at times, been presumed to last indefinitely, particularly for exterior spray fireproofing of large
liquified petroleum gascontainers, vessel skirts and pipe bridges. The proper primer must be used. The high pH of cement-borne plasters does not safeguard unprotected common steel substrata. Ignorance of this fact, particularly in coastal regions with high salt exposures has led to rusting and delaminations of spray fireproofing on large LPG spheres and other similar installations. Proper epoxies must be used for water-resistance to prevent "soaping" when in contact with the plaster.
*The dew point calculations must be performed and considered where fibrous spray fireproofing on LPG spheres is installed. When this is not done, the dew point may be located inside of the spray fireproofing, which has resulted in ceramic fibre based sprays' becoming saturated with water.
*Excessive mixing of cement-borne fireproofing results in having the cement stone formed and completely spent while still mixing, which causes a "spider-web" appearance of the finished plaster, because there was little or nothing of the binder left to actually "set" or "cure" when finally placed. This reduces the plaster to a "sand-castle" quality.
*Spray fireproofing cannot be sprayed onto vibrating substrata, which can dislodge and weaken plasters.
*Fresh cement plasters should be covered to reduce premature escape of water by exposure to wind and heat, resulting in lesser quality fireproofing plasters. The water is needed to form cement stone inside of the plaster.
Spray fireproofing products have not been qualified to the thousands of firestop configurations, so they cannot be installed in conformance of a certification listing. Therefore, firestopping must precede fireproofing. Both need one another. If the structural steel is left without fireproofing, it can damage fire barriers and a building can collapse. If the barriers are not firestopped properly, fire and smoke can spread from one compartment to another.
Traffic tunnel fireproofing
Traffic tunnels may be traversed by vehicles carrying flammable goods, such as petrol,
liquified petroleum gasand other hydrocarbons, which are known to cause a very rapid temperature rise and high ultimate temperatures in case of a fire (see the hydrocarbon curves in fire-resistance rating). Where hydrocarbon transports are permitted in tunnel construction and operations, accidental fires may occur, resulting in the need for fireproofing of traffic tunnels with concrete linings. Traffic tunnels are not ordinarily equipped with fire suppression means, such as fire sprinkler systems. It is very difficult to control hydrocarbon fires by active fire protectionmeans, and it is expensive to equip an entire tunnel along its whole length for the eventuality of a hydrocarbon fire or a BLEVE.
*Concrete exposed to hydrocarbon fires
Concrete, by itself, cannot withstand hydrocarbon fires. In the Channel tunnelthat connects Englandand France, an intense fire broke out and reduced the concrete lining in the undersea tunnel down to about 50 mm. In ordinary building fires, concrete typically achieves excellent fire-resistance ratings, unless it is too wet, which can cause it to crack and explode. For unprotected concrete, the sudden endothermicreaction of the hydrates and unbound humidity inside the concrete causes such pressure as to spall off the concrete, which then winds up in small pieces on the floor of the tunnel. This is the reason why laboratories, which conduct fire-resistance testing, such as [http://www.ulc.ca/ ULC] , [http://www.ibmb.tu-bs.de/ iBMB TU Braunschweig] , which headed the "Eureka" [http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:R_wFpviv8k0J:www.stuva.de/de/content/doc/pdf/tu-7-99.pdf+EUREKA-project+EU+499+Firetun&hl=de&gl=de&ct=clnk&cd=5] project, or Underwriters Laboratoriesinsert humidity probes into all concrete slabs that undergo fire testing even in accordance with the less severe building elements curve (DIN4102, ASTM E119, BS476, or ULC-S101). Only once the humidity is low enough, will a fire test be conducted because otherwise explosions would result. The culprit is the hydrates and unbound humidity in the concrete, and this is not new. Another prime example of this is the fact that walls constructed of lost plastic forms, which are filled on site with concrete cannot withstand the testing required of a loadbearing Firewall (construction). During the fire test, these walls are subjected to a load, which then leads to such a forceful explosion as to shear the wall with thunderous noise. A hydrocarbon fire is much more rapid and severe than a typical building fire. Consequently, concrete is much more vulnerable and must be protected in order to remain operable during a hydrocarbon fire. The need for fireproofing was demonstrated, among other fire protectionmeasures, in the European "Eureka" Fire Tunnel Research Project, which resulted in building codes for the trade to avoid the effects of such fires upon traffic tunnels. Cementitious spray fireproofing must be certification listed and applied in the field as per that listing, using a hydrocarbon fire test curve such as the one that is also used in UL1709 [http://ulstandardsinfonet.ul.com/scopes/1709.html] .
*Fireproofing concrete tunnel linings
In essence, this is really not much different from protecting
structural steelor electrical circuits or valves. The systems must be installed in accordance with the requirements of the certification listing. Heat transfer into the item to be protected must be limited. This is accomplished by the use of firm fireproofing products, such as higher density fireproofing plasters or fireproofing boards, such as those made of calcium silicateor vermiculite. Other things to be kept in mind are as follows:
* Existing traffic tunnel surfaces that are to be fireproofed must be cleaned to remove any substances that may impair proper bonding.
* As traffic emissions darken new fireproofing products, light-reflecting coatings should be considered. They should be easy to clean, compatible with the substrate, and the combination of the fireproofing with the paint must be capable of absorbing the
kinetic energyof spray cleaning.
*In mountain tunnels, a space should be created between the fireproofing and the stone, for water traveling downwards through the mountain to be drained off, to avoid the formation of icicles and damage to the fireproofing system.
Trade jurisdiction on unionised construction sites in North America
*Structural Steel and Concrete Substrata: [http://www.opcmia.org/ Plasterers]
*Electrical Circuits: [http://www.insulators.org/ Insulators]
*Ductwork: [http://www.insulators.org/ Insulators]
The traditional method for constructing fireproof vaults to protect important paper documents has been to use concrete or masonry blocks as the primary building material. In the event of a fire, the chemically bound water within the concrete or masonry blocks will be forced into the vault chamber as steam. The steam will soak the paper documents to keep them from burning. This steam will also help keep the temperature inside the vault chamber below the critical 350-degree Fahrenheit (176.7-degrees Celsius) threshold, which is the point at which information on paper documents is destroyed. The paper can later be remediated with a freeze drying process, if the fire is extinguished before internal temperatures exceed 350-degrees F.
This traditional vault construction method is sufficient for paper documents, but the steam generated by concrete/masonry structures will destroy contents that are more sensitive to heat and moisture. For example, information on microfilm is destroyed at just 150-degrees F. (65.5-degrees C. a.k.a. Class 150) and magnetic media (such as data tapes) lose data above 125-degrees F. (51.7-degrees C. a.k.a. Class 125). Fireproof vaults built to meet the more stringent Class 150 and Class 125 requirements are called data-rated vaults.
Passive fire protection
Listing and approval use and compliance
Gerald W. Brown
Liquified petroleum gas
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Fireproofing — Fire proof ing, n. The act or process of rendering anything incombustible; also, the materials used in the process. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
fireproofing — noun 1. : the act or process of making a thing fireproof 2. : the materials used in the process of fireproofing * * * /fuyeur prooh fing/, n. 1. the act or process of rendering fireproof. 2. material for use in making anything fireproof. [1865… … Useful english dictionary
fireproofing — /fuyeur prooh fing/, n. 1. the act or process of rendering fireproof. 2. material for use in making anything fireproof. [1865 70; FIREPROOF + ING1] * * * Use of fire resistant materials in a building to prevent structural collapse and allow safe… … Universalium
fireproofing — n. act of making inflammable; materials used to make things fire resistantadj. fire resistant v. make resistant to fire, make inflammable … English contemporary dictionary
fireproofing — fire•proof•ing [[t]ˈfaɪərˌpru fɪŋ[/t]] n. 1) the act or process of rendering fireproof 2) material for use in making anything fireproof • Etymology: 1865–70 … From formal English to slang
fireproofing — /ˈfaɪəprufɪŋ/ (say fuyuhproohfing) noun 1. the act or process of rendering fireproof. 2. material for use in making anything fireproof … Australian-English dictionary
fireproofing tile — noun : tile for use as a protection against fire for structural members … Useful english dictionary
Collapse of the World Trade Center — Coordinates: 40°42′41.12″N 74°00′44.00″W / … Wikipedia
Firestop — A firestop is a passive fire protection system of various components used to seal openings and joints in fire resistance rated wall and/or floor assemblies, based on fire testing and certification listings. Unprotected openings in fire… … Wikipedia
Liquefied petroleum gas — (also called LPG, GPL, LP Gas, or liquid propane gas) is a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon gases used as a fuel in heating appliances and vehicles. It is increasingly used as an aerosol propellant and a refrigerant, replacing chlorofluorocarbons … Wikipedia