Analysing the fire risk factor of various building materials is an important part of the design and development phases of construction. Regardless of whether the building is new or going through a renovation, compliance with fire safety standards is important. Therefore, analysing the fire risk factor also ensures the building owner has a damage control plan and fire protection strategy in place.
What are the most commonly used materials in building construction? Are they fireproof? Nullifire lists out a range of materials with their corresponding fire risk profile.
Wood is one of the oldest construction materials used across the world; in fact, many commercial buildings still use it to erect their facades. Though highly combustible, this natural building material burns in a predictable and slow manner, thanks to its insulating properties. When exposed to fire, timber undergoes a thermal breakdown with the charred surface acting as a natural retardant to slow down combustion and protect the inner core of the wood, and the structure’s durability.
A popular choice among builders, especially for its ability to withstand flames and ensure fire protection to the structure, concrete is composed of cement and aggregates that have poor thermal conductivity. As a fireproof material with a higher degree of fire resistance, concrete transfers heat rather slowly and does not release any toxic fumes compared to timber and other building materials.
A staple material in modern constructions, glass radiates class and is used mainly for aesthetics more than for stability and integrity. The use of glass in commercial structural projects is highly regulated with the material having to pass the Australian Glass and Glazing Association’s (AGGA) quality standards. Glass specified for any construction project needs to be supplied by makers with AGGA accreditation to ensure it meets the regulatory requirements for thermal performance as well as for wind load in cyclone and high risk areas.
Steel is, perhaps, the most commonly used material for the structural framework of a building. Steel’s strength, flexibility, and refined look combined with high durability make it a highly preferred building material that can support heavy loads without excessive sagging. Being a high conductor of heat, it loses its strength at a critical temperature – this can be avoided with the use of fireproof building materials. Permax offers intumescent coatings with up to 120 fire protection.
If you are looking for passive fire protection solutions to enhance your building’s structural steel fire resistance, you can contact our team from Permax.