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  • What is Intumescent? Your questions answered...

    What is Intumescent?

    A common question we get asked is “What is intumescent”, or “What does intumescent do?”  Let’s explain…

    An ‘intumescent’ is a material that swells up and expands on exposure to heat.  There are a few main types of intumescent, but most can be classified as ‘soft char’ or ‘hard char’.

    Soft char intumescents, such as ammonium polyphosphate, produce a light, fluffy char that produces very little pressure but is an excellent insulator.  This is often used in fire protection for glazing, as high pressure could shatter the glass and make the situation a lot worse.  Soft char intumescent materials are also suitable for spraying so are commonly found in spray mastic and fire protective coatings for structural steel.

    Hard char intumescents are the most common, and include sodium silicate and graphite based materials.  These produce a much higher pressure and substantial char, and are used in applications like plastic pipe fire stopping and intumescent strip for around fire doors.

     

    How do they work?

    In the case of an ammonium polyphosphate based intumescent, this is combined with other starch-based materials to cause swelling.  When the ammonium polyphosphate is exposed to heat, it starts to decompose and produce CO2, helping to prevent it from burning.  The resulting char protects the underlying layers from heat and fire.  It also allows for quite significant movement of components during a fire without compromising the protection.

    Sodium silicates and graphite based intumescent materials contain hydrates, that turn to gas when they get hot, thus expanding and forming a seal.  Sodium silicate intumescents have a very low activation temperature of just 110-120°C, whilst intercalated graphite intumescents start activating at around 200°C.  Graphite intumescents are extremely flexible, so are commonly used in pipe wraps and collars.

     

    What do they do?

    Intumescent products form a vital part of fire protection in a building.  Fire travels extremely rapidly, and finds any small gap or hole to spread through.  These gaps or holes must be protected, and by doing so with an intumescent material the passage of smoke and fire through a building is limited or even prevented, helping to contain the fire and ensure safe and rapid evacuation of the building.

  • The Dangers of Cutting Corners with your Fire Doors

    OK - you've heard us say it before.  You've heard many people say it before.  And we're going to keep saying it - Fire Doors play a vital part in life safety and fire containment within a building.

    There are many examples of how effective Fire Doors are should a fire occur, including the recent fire at Gower College in Swansea.  South Wales Fire & Rescue Service credit the effective Fire Doors for minimising the spread of the fire.  Deputy chief fire officer Mick Crennell said, "I would urge everyone to keep their fire doors closed, they really are there for a reason and they really do work."

    But many times the little details are overlooked.  Corners are cut, and expensive Fire Doors are rendered useless due to incorrect installation or non-fire-rated ancillaries fitted.  The weak spots on a Fire Door are the edges, and any hole or aperture cut into the door, for example vision panels, locks and latches, letterplates and ventilation grilles.  If these aren't properly fire rated, tested and certified there can be lethal consequences in a fire.

    BWF Certifire put together this amazing and enlightening video (if a little scary) to show just how dangerous a compromised Fire Door can be.  Sit back, enjoy, and remember - NEVER CUT CORNERS WHEN WORKING WITH FIRE DOORS!

    WATCH THE VIDEO

    BWF Fire Doors

     

     

    We have a wide range of ancillaries for Fire Doors available on our website - all properly fire tested and certified by 3rd party accreditation bodies.  Our range includes:

    Order your Fire Door seals

  • FAQs On Firefighting Equipment In Your Commercial Property

    Fire safety is important on any property, however if you own a commercial property then you have a responsibility to keep your employees, customers and clients safe. Continue reading

  • A Silent Killer – How At Risk UK Properties Are From Fire

    It’s a sound we all dread, but one that’s still worryingly common in the UK – being woken at night by the shrill screech of a fire alarm, or even the eerie near-silent crackle of fire. It’s not a situation any home owner or property landlord wants to be faced with as the effects can be catastrophic, with a large financial cost – as well as a potential human cost too.
    Continue reading

  • Trend Of UK Fire Deaths Showing Steady Fall

     
    The number of fire-related deaths showed a fall between 2008 and 2010, claimed the 29th edition of the World Fire Statistics Bulletin. This information was gathered globally and was published by the Geneva Association.
    Continue reading

  • Fire Safety & The Law: Where Do Landlords Stand?

    Ensuring that a rented property is safe and does not pose hazards to the tenants is one of the most important responsibilities that landlords have. Compliance with fire safety regulations is a crucial part of this, but landlords often find it difficult to identify which aspects of fire safety legislation apply to their particular case, and there are often perpetuated myths about what you should or shouldn’t do. In our latest article here at Fire Seals Direct we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions that all landlords should consider.
    Continue reading

  • Fire Escapes & Signage: What Are Your Obligations?

    As a business owner or building manager it's vital to know your obligations - read the latest Fireseals Direct post for more on what your site needs to do.
  • Fire Safety Professional Warns Against Fire Risk in Elderly Accommodation

    Putting an elderly relative into a care home or sheltered accommodation is often a difficult and heart-rending decision for everyone involved. Your older relative may feel frustrated at their declining strength and abilities, and want younger family members to do more to help them stay in their own home, while the younger generation may not be able to give grandparents or elderly parents the time and attention they need.
    Continue reading

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