Today, fires develop 5 to 10 times faster than they did in the 1950s. The performance of a building during fire therefore has a major influence on the safety of building occupants and first-responders.
Combustible materials can contribute to the spread of a fire and can produce toxic smoke, causing enormous risks for people inside a building.
We feel everyone deserves to be in a safe environment. No matter where you live, work, play or learn: safety comes first. Non-combustible building materials are the way to go.
Combustible materials and smoke formation
Toxic smoke inhalation causes more fire-related deaths than do the fires themselves. All combustible materials produce some amount of toxic smoke when they burn. How much toxic smoke will be emitted depends on the material, the amount of oxygen available and how long it burns.
In the early stages of a fire before flashover, smoke will come from the first items ignited, often furniture and other contents of the room. As the fire grows and hits the flashover point, the volume and toxicity of the smoke it produces increases greatly. The fire can then continue consuming room contents as well as combustible building materials (including on the building exterior if the fire breaks through windows), which feeds the fire further and expands the amount of toxic smoke. Fire and smoke spreading through the building and up the facade will threaten occupants in parts of the building remote from the fire’s start point, making escape more difficult.
How does Rockpanel facade cladding perform during a fire?
The core material of Rockpanel boards is basalt, a volcanic rock that does not burn. It melts only at extremely high temperatures (1.000 degrees Celsius and higher). Rockpanel facade boards therefore have only very low amount of calorific content. This calorific content comes from the small amount of binder which will decompose in case of fire. But it will not burn thanks to the stone wool fibre in the panels. The low calorific value implicates that the panels have a very limited contribution to a fire.
Fire safety: looking at the complete picture
It must be noted that Rockpanel boards, as are any other facade cladding panels, are always part of a kit which contain panels, insulation material and sub frames. There are all kinds of insulation materials and subframes which all have their own fire behaviour and contribution to smoke formation. When it comes to smoke formation, you can design out the risk by using non-combustible materials only.