Common Terminology for Fire-Rated Walls
A fire-rated wall assembly or system is a great way to prevent, or slow, a fire from spreading through your building. The system can ensure that your staff are able to safely evacuate the building if a fire occurs. Still, you should understand the terminology and various types of materials used, though it might be challenging to determine the differences between the different types of fire-rated walls and materials. That is why you will want to familiarize yourself with the terminology. That way, you can make more informed decisions and keep everyone in your building safe when choosing a fire-rated wall panel, such as DuraWall.
What Is a Fire-Rated Wall Panel?
You may have heard the term “fire-rated wall” which is more correctly referred to as a fire resistance rated wall. This type of wall assembly has been exposed to a standard fire exposure for the required duration, without openings occurring on the unexposed face, while also limiting the temperature rise on the exposed face. At the conclusion of the test, or after 1 hour, the sample is removed from the furnace and exposed to a hose stream test at different pressures based on the fire test durations, and for a duration based on the test sample size.
You may have also have heard about “Class A Fire Ratings,”. This is actually an interior wall and ceiling finish materials rating, that measures the finish materials ability to spread flames and create smoke. There are three classes, each with a different limit on allowed flame spread and a maximum amount of smoke developed.
Class A = Flame spread index 0−25; smoke-developed index 0−450. Class B = Flame spread index 26−75; smoke developed index 0−450. Class C = Flame spread index 76−200; smoke developed index 0−450.
Though unlikely, a material that has a very low flame spread index would not achieve any rating if the smoke developed index exceeds 450.
Another term you may have heard is non-combustible. This type of material will not contribute to a fire so will not assist the fire’s growth. It means a non-combustible material has a higher fire resistance than that of a Class A material.
You might have heard of “fuel contribution.” This term describes the levels of heat energy that a building’s material might give off when you have a fire. It does not explain how much the fire may spread instead, it is simply a scale that lets you compare various materials.
When purchasing DuraWall panels for your business, you might wonder what the fire rating is. DuraWall panels are a true fire resistance rated product with fire ratings of up to 2 hours. This panel is not a cladding type panel but the actual finished wall panel. Once installed, no further finishes or materials are required to achieve the fire resistance rating. This far exceed a Class A material fire rating that is just a component in a wall assembly.
You will need to understand the fire rating terminology to ensure you protect your equipment and employees. That is even more important in high-risk areas. A high fire rating offers a greater level of safety, and it lets you create the best fire escape plan.
Choosing the Best Company to Protect You
DuraSystems offers products such as the DuraWall to help keep businesses like yours safe. We have a range of high-quality options, so you will find whatever you need. We also test each panel to ensure that it exceeds the relevant standards. If you need help choosing the right fire products, feel free to contact us.