Why is the calorific value of cladding materials important?
Calorific value is the amount of energy that is produced by the complete combustion of a material. This amount of energy determines how much heat a certain material contributes to a fire. More heat simply means a faster spreading of the fire. The calorific content of a panel is indicated by its PCS (abbreviation of the French term ‘Pouvoir Calorifique Supérieur’) value. The higher a PCS value is, the more calorific content a panel has. Non-combustible facade material (Euroclass A1 & A2) has a very low calorific value and thus a very low contribution to the fire. The classification of these non-combustible materials has an upper limit on the PCS values.
Comparing calorific values of facade cladding
In general, the lower the calorific value of a product, the better it is when it comes to fire safety. But what does this imply? When it comes to PCS value, two panels distinct themselves: fibre cement and stone wool (Rockpanel). They both have a very low caloric content. Stone wool, for example, is made from natural volcanic rock basalt, which can withstand extremely high temperatures by nature.