Smart Fire Protection: 5 Types of Fire Resistant Materials


Smart Fire Protection: 5 Types of Fire Resistant Materials

A means of protection from high temperature, heat resistant materials help ensure people, equipment and instruments are safeguarded against damage from fire. A fire resistant material is one that is designed to resist burning and withstand heart, however, fire-retardant materials are designed to burn slowly.

Fireproofing means rendering a structure or material resistant to fire. It is a passive protective measure and is used both at home and in industrial or manufacturing settings. In addition to protecting against fire and high heat, fire resistant materials also reduce the hazard of off-gassing that can occur when wires, lines and cables become too hot.

1. Fire resistant materials

There are four broad categories of fire resistant materials, and they each work slightly different and are suited better to specific uses. There are heat resistant tapes, sealants, fire blankets and fire sleeves.

Their ability to withstand extremely harsh environments means that heat resistant materials are used for everything from thermal protection systems on high-speed vehicles, to fuel cladding in the super-heated environments of nuclear reactors.

2. Tapes

Found in a large range of sizes, tapes vary in length, width, thickness, and even colour. Intended to tolerate very high temperatures, a certified fire tape can withstand temperatures of up to 1650 degrees Celsius.

They have low shrinking characteristics and low coefficient of expansion, this permits them to have greater resistance to salt water, chlorine, and even perspiration. They usually have a coating of iron oxide and red silicone rubber. Found also in sublimation and heat press processes, they are built to withstand everything from wash and dry cycles to industrial compression.

3. Sealants

Eliminating the gaps between solid sections of a machine means that it is able to resist higher temperatures and increased pressure. These sealants come in both liquid foam and cement formulation. Usually, the liquid foam type is used to seal machined connection and threading.

Cement sealants are better suited to rough surfaces, like the floor in a manufacturing facility. Popular because they work fast and efficiently and can cure a seal fast in a short amount of time. They are also used to resist chemical and acids and can significantly reduce vibration and shock damage in places like a hydro generating station. Additionally, they can be used to repair leaks in refrigeration lines, compressors and boilers.

4. Fire blankets

Among the most common heat resistant material available, fire blankets come in a variety of sizes designed for home or industrial use. Essentially they are just sheets of fire resistant material that have been woven tightly together in order to form a protective fire shield.

Often coated with a flame retardant fluid, fire blankets can even act as a fire extinguisher when thrown on top of a small fire. When a fire blanket is put on top of a fire, the oxygen available is diminished and the fire dies.

Thermal textiles provide the solution when flexibility or movement is required in high temperature situations. Heat resistant materials capable of being formed into fibers can be woven, knitted or felted into cloth, rope and tape, as appropriate.

5. Fire sleeves

In addition to flame, firesleeves are resistant to water, oil, and adhesives. Capable of resisting temperatures up to 540 degrees calcium, they are often used in industrial and aerospace environments.

Working as an insulated sheet, firesleeves are made of silicon coasted fiberglass. Highly versatile, they come in all shapes and sizes, are fairly affordable and can also be used to protect cables, wires, in addition to hydraulic and industrial hoses. A favourite of companies because they are inexpensive and effective, you will find firesleeeves being used by a variety of industries in order to protect facilities and people.

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