Why Evaluation of Fire Protection Materials is Crucial

Fire Protection Materials

Educating people on the use of materials that can keep them safe from fire has become the need of the hour. In the wake of the Grenfell tower fire, several fire protection organizations around the globe are striving to promote awareness on the use of fire protection materials. To avoid such tragedies, constructors of buildings as well as the people living in it should be aware on how to replace their surroundings with fire protection materials.

Public education becomes an effective tool in promoting the knowledge of fire safety measures and fire protection materials to our children. Learning the importance of fire protection materials at an early age can help them create an understanding on what to use in an environment having higher proximity to heat, high temperature, and combustion. Growing awareness through educational programmes and government initiatives will instrument a robust growth in the expansion of the global market for fire protection materials. In this manner, several leaders from the chemicals & materials industry are expected to fuel their participation in the global production of fire protection materials.

Assessment of the appropriate kind of fire protection materials is a key task that companies and consumers, both, must consider beforehand. Prior to promoting awareness on fire protection materials, there should be a standardized evaluation of materials. Based on their composition, protection levels, affordability, and procurement potential, fire protection materials can be evaluated. For example, sheets made of silicone are being used as fire protection materials for laminating building surfaces. However, presence of synthetic materials and polymers in these silicone sheets creates a slight loophole in terms of fire safety. In the time of extreme emergency, when the fire outbreak expands vigorously, these sheets can melt and expose their synthetic constituents, thereby adding to the combustion.

Understanding Active and Passive Fire Protection Materials

A key part of evaluating the fire protection materials is to understand its applicability. Fire protection materials can be integrated across two types of fire safety programs – active fire protection and passive fire protection. Inactive fire protection, the need for motion response is required and the materials used for protecting people against fire are integrated to the fire safety system of the building. Passive fire protection, on the other hand, mainly involves the use of fire protection materials in the structure of the building. High-grade materials are used to create fire-resistant walls, doors, and floors in the passive fire protection program.

What are Intumescent Materials?

While evaluating fire protection materials, the role of intumescence plays an advanced role. The property of swelling up is commonly known an intumescence, and intumescent materials are widely used for covering walls and other building surfaces in the form of sealants and paints. Intumescent sealants are used to seal joints between parting walls, and enabling in protection of fire rated door frames and glazing systems.

Intumescent materials are used in the form of fire protection paints. Made of sodium silicate materials, intumescent coatings can be used for fireproofing of dry walls and ceilings. The aesthetic fire resistance properties of these paints create an appealing texture and are widely used in passive fire protection measure.

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Providing effective education on fire safety will involve the evaluation of fire protection materials across the aforementioned parameters. In the foreseeable future, the use of fire protection materials will pick up considerable pace, provided that more people are in the know of the advantages of creating living spaces with such materials.

About the Author

Nikhil Kaitwade

With over 8 years of experience in market research and consulting industry, Nikhil has worked on more than 250 research assignments pertaining to chemicals, materials and energy sector. He has worked directly with about 35 reputed companies as lead consultant for plant expansion, product positioning, capacity factor analysis, new market/segment exploration, export market opportunity evaluation and sourcing strategies.

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