When choosing construction material, consider the reaction to fire classification

The safety of people is a factor which for many years has drawn the attention of designers and must be a priority in every construction project. No wonder that the reaction to fire classification is one of the basic criteria for choosing materials used in the design and construction of ventilated façades made of large format panels. And Scalamid boasts class A1, the highest possible classification.

“Non-flammability” is a commonly used term used in the context of materials that do not contribute to the spread of fire inside or outside the building. In interiors, the most important factor is the time that allows people (thanks to the use of appropriate materials) to safely leave the building. In the case of façades, the mentioned “non-flammability” concerns the question whether the fire will proceed vertically and reach higher storeys. The definition of this feature of the product is the reaction to fire class, the so-called Euroclass A1, reflected in the Technical Conditions, which should be met by buildings and their location.

European Union countries have determined a common classification of reaction to fire of particular materials, on the basis of developed research methodology and evaluation of results. In Poland the rules are defined in the standard PN-EN 13501-1. The highest basic class of reaction to fire of construction products is A1. The classes represented by the subsequent letters of the alphabet, B, C, D, E and F, refer to materials which are gradually more susceptible to fire: non-combustible, difficult to ignite, easy to ignite.

Two additional parameters are also worth taking into account. The rate and volume of smoke generation during a fire is defined by three levels:

  • s1 – almost no smoke,
  • s2 – moderate smoke emission,
  • s3 – extensive smoke emission.

As regards the possibility of producing burning droplets or scraps by the burning product, we also distinguish three parameters, but, in contrast, starting from zero:

  • d0 – no burning droplets,
  • d1 – few burning droplets/particles (similar to sparks of burning wood),
  • d2 – many burning droplets/particles (may cause skin burns or spread fire).

The above parameters are not tested when the material has the highest class – A1, which means there is no emission of smoke and droplets.

Reaction to fire classificationDownload

Source– Combustion Processes and Explosion Laboratory at CNBOP-PIB

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