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Fire-retardant (FR) materials have become an important ingredient in modern construction. With more and more skyscrapers towering towards the skies in bustling cities, fire protection has taken centre stage across the world. Using genuine FR material is critical to safety in the Fire Rated Construction System.

A typical ACP-cladded façade in India has a frame structure comprising a non-load-bearing brick wall, followed by plaster, steel frame and an ACP envelope fixed on the frame. As an important criterion for resistance to fire, the ACP envelope should contain fire and retain its structural integrity up to 2 hours. But that’s not the only feature that contributes to fire protection. An authentic rating for resistance to fire also takes into account that smoke kills faster than fire, among other vital factors. This is where Aludecor’s FR ACP, FireWall stands above the rest.

The trusted choice

Aludecor’s FireWall having more than 71% mineral content and made with AA5005/AA3105 alloy, is a tried and tested non-halogenated FR ACP which . . .

  • will not produce toxic gases that cause death. 80% of death in a fire accident is caused by smoke which is a dreadful combination of CO and CO2. The haemoglobin in our blood loves carbon monoxide much more than oxygen.
  • will not blur vision and thus make it easy for people to get out via the escape routes.
  • will not release excessive heat onto other materials that can cause fire.
  • will not contribute to rapid spreading of flames towards the upper floors of the building, for 2 hours, as an exterior cladding of a typical Indian construction.
  • will not melt into flaming droplets and instead turn into innocuous dust particles.
  • will not come off the façade when the building is doused with water through fire hose.

The core secret

FireWall is a non-halogenated FR material that produces water vapour when it heats up.

It does not produce toxic gases like the halogenated materials. Magnesium hydroxide (MDH) is the non-halogenated material that is mixed with PE to form the core of Aludecor’s FR products. MDH has a better fire-resistance performance than aluminium trihydrate (ATH), the other non-halogenated material, owing to higher decomposition temperature. Furthermore MDH is more environment-friendly than other similar materials.

MDH delays the PE transformation from solid to plastic (the point of ignition) up to 360°C, by releasing water molecules and bringing down the temperature continuously.

Core details Polyethylene Magnesium hydroxide (MDH) Aluminium trihydrate (ATH)
Chemical reaction CH2 + O2 = CO2 + H2O Mg(OH)2 = MgO + H2O 2Al(OH)3 = Al2O3 + 3H2O
Decomposition temperature 90oC to 110oC 310oC to 360oC 190oC to 240oC
Status Heat generation Heat absorption Heat absorption

The state-of-the-art FR grade ACP production unit

At Aludecor the end-to-end production facility is foolproof and competes with global standards. The two production units, spread over 25,000 sq m at Haridwar, are equipped with up-to-date technology and testing facilities. The stringent quality control system keeps a sharp eye on each and every unit produced.

Product certifications and reports

Aludecor FireWall is process certified for Reaction to Fire by ewcl5 as per EN 13501-1, Class B-s1, d0 and BS 476 Part 6 and 7.

Aludecor FireWall also passed the ASTM E119-12 test for 2-hour resistance to fire. The test also checks if the ACP disintegrates from the structure when water is sprayed through fire hoses to bring the fire under control.

EN 13501-1 test validates that it will not contribute to the spreading of fire; that smoke production will be negligible and flaming droplets will turn to harmless ash particles. On clearing this test Aludecor FireWall has received the B-s1, d0 fire classification.

The all-important baby step

Aludecor is equipped with Baby Line, a miniature version of an ACP Lamination Line, for trial production of the Aludecor mineral core.

The mineral core produced in this Baby Line is subjected to rigorous tests, and only on clearing them, is the particular batch sent for final production.

Quality check at the in-house FR Lab

Before going for the final production, each batch of the mineral core produced in the Baby Line is thoroughly tested.

Ignitability Test Non-combustibility Test
Checks the magnitude of ignition in compliance with EN1182. Checks at what temperature the material would be set aflame.

Materials that catch fire easily are more ignitable, flammable or combustible. For example, paper is more ignitable or flammable than wood. Various testing procedures can be treated as effective tools to quantify the capability of any material to resist fire. There are international protocols in place to determine the flammability or combustibility of different kinds of substances.

The EN13501-1 is an effective way to test combustibility of various materials.

Limiting Oxygen Index

Checks the minimum oxygen requirement to ignite the material.

The Limiting Oxygen Index is a measure of the percentage of oxygen that has to be present to support combustion of the plastic aterials. The benchmark is 21%. Below this the material will catch fire easily, but above it the tendency will be reduced. The higher the LOI value, the higher the non-flammability.

Smoke Density Test

Checks if light passes through the smoke produced or not, so that it does not blur human vision. Smoke Density Index (SDI) helps to measure the concentration of smoke emitted by burning materials. Higher SDI rating means that the material emits a greater quantity of smoke, when burning, than low density rated materials. We know that smoke kills faster than fire and causes more fatality than heat. Smoke produces life-threatening toxic products and reduces visibility. It also hinders escape from a fire zone. It’s important to keep in mind that ASTM D 2843 is an important method to measure the SDI rating of plastics

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