With passive fire safety becoming increasingly important in new buildings and renovation work, South Africa-based sealants and adhesives supplier Den Braven says such fire-protection systems need to ensure that a fire is contained within specified fire compartments.
“Passive fire protection seeks to contain fires or slow down their spreading by means of fire-resistant walls, floors and doors, as well as prevent critical structures, such as load-bearing columns and beams, from collapsing prematurely during a fire,” says Den Braven national sales and marketing manager Michael Berg.
He explains that passive fire-protection products, for instance, aim to ensure that the load-bearing capacity of the structure exposed to the fire does not reach a critical level.
To assist with this, a range of materials is used in the design and construction of systems, such as the Den Braven Passive FireProtect (FP) range, which is applied to expansion and connection joints, as well as openings and surface penetrations, between fire compartments.
This range is used as part of a fully integrated passive fire- protection system, which assists in preventing fires from spreading and in reducing the volume of smoke and gases released, Berg explains.
Passive fire-protection systems play a part in greater, integrated fire-protection systems, and are designed to protect the building’s integrity and assist in the evacuation for a predetermined time after the outbreak of a fire.
The fire-protection systems should be installed during the construction of a building and then inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations at regular intervals during the building’s life span, Berg notes.
“By correctly applying these passive fire-protection products, the fundamental and legal requirements of compartmentalisation can be met. Additionally, the systems contribute to the structural stability of a building and provide time to safely evacuate or clear the building.”
The fundamental requirements of compartmentalisation entail the dividing of a building into a series of fire-tight boxes termed ‘compartments’, which will form a barrier to the flames, smoke and toxic gases passing through for a specified period.
He explains that the compartmentalisation of areas allows for the evacuation of people from a building, which essentially saves the lives of its occupants, as well as ensuring the integrity of the structure after a fire to allow fire inspectors to determine the cause of the fire.
Meanwhile, it is critical that the correct specifications and designs are used to ensure optimum performance from the Den Braven FireProtect range, notes Berg.
The range, which was launched last year, consists of products that offer a complete solution for all types of expansion joints, openings and technical surface penetrations common in the building industry.
The products that are available from Den Braven in South Africa include FP Silicone, FP Acrylic Sealant, FP Hybrid and the FP Polyurethane (PU) Expansion Foam.
Berg further mentions that the range can contribute to the stability of the building by retarding or slowing down a fire, thereby increasing fire resistance for a predetermined time to ensure the integrity of the gaps and expansion joints within the building.
“Our products can ensure that fire resistance can last up to four hours when the FP Acrylic, FP Silicone, and FP Hybrid are used in combination, and up to two hours and more with the FP PU Expansion Foam,” he enthuses.
Den Braven’s products and systems are tested in accordance with EN1366-4 for the penetration of compartments, and EN1366-3 for linear joints, and are used to fully seal fire compartments where walls, frames and floors meet.
“Den Braven is known as one of the leading developers and manufacturers of sealants, adhesives and PU expansion foams, and is considered to be an authority in the field of dedicated concepts that provide complete solutions, locally and internationally,” Berg concludes.