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TG - Fire Stopping - Part A.pub - PFPA

Fire Stopping of

Service Penetrations

Version 1a—March 2006

Technical Guide

TG – 006

Part A — General information relating to fire stopping

Version 1a—March 2006

Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment


The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment is a group formed to increase the

profile of passive fire and smoke containment systems and their benefits to the

Building and Construction Industry and the Community as a whole.

2

The complex nature of Australia and New Zealand Standards, Fire Safety

Engineering methodologies, building control legislation and regulations means that

The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment can assist its members in

understanding the requirements, by providing a unified voice to integrate into

relevant reform initiatives.

At the same time, where legislation and regulations are lacking or conflicting, the

Alliance can draw on the resources of its members to develop Technical Guidance

Notes (TGN’s) and Industry Best Practice Guides (IBPG’s). These are developed

with other relevant industry groups (Insurance Companies, Testing Laboratories,

Manufacturers and Consumers) and government organisations (Fire Brigades and

Local Councils) to ensure they are representative of all relevant party interests.

The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment provide a number of ancillary

services, including:

• A comprehensive and user friendly web site for:

° Find-a-product web listing

° Find-an-installer web listing

° Find-a-consultant

° Technical Papers

• Technical and Legislative Overviews

• Marketing Guidelines

• Passive News: Quarterly Industry Newsletter

• E-News Update: Industry Updates as they occur

• Industry Forum: Quarterly Members Meeting

• Trade Exhibition Representation

Although care has been taken to ensure, to the best of our knowledge, that all data and information contained in this publication

is accurate to the extent that it relates to either matters of fact or accepted practice or matters of opinion at the time

of publication, The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment assumes no responsibility for any errors in or misinterpretations

of such data and/or information or any loss or damage arising from or related to its use.

Version 1a—March 2006


3

PREFACE

This publication has been prepared by The Alliance for Fire and Smoke

Containment with the kind support of member companies who are actively involved

in the Fire Stopping Industry.

This Technical Guide intends to provide the reader with specific information relating

to fire stopping including mandatory Building Code requirements, the applicable

Australian Standards for design, installation and maintenance, as well as useful

terminology and its application.

This Guide presents a list of commercially available Fire Stopping Products along

with a summary of the respective company’s available fire test data as supplied at

the time of compilation. This information is listed in the Supplier Product Tables

located at the back of this document.

This publication will provide a useful reference document for architects, designers,

manufacturers, suppliers, installers, maintenance personnel, building approval

officers, insurance underwriters or surveyors, risk management consultants, or

building owners and operators.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the Fire Stopping manufacturer / supplier members of The

Alliance for providing detailed information on their materials and systems without

which this publication could not have been prepared.

John Rakic

Executive Officer

The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment

© 2006 The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment

Disclaimer

This publication was prepared by J-RAK Consulting for The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment (The Alliance).

Information provided within is based on data provided by the respective suppliers by way of a survey issued in January 2006.

Product listings do not signify that the products listed are endorsed in anyway by The Alliance. The user is urged to contact

the supplier and request data sheets and technical assistance for the application at hand.

Version 1a—March 2006


Contents

Introduction 6

4

Fire Stopping Systems 7

Fire Resistant Barrier 8

Opening Size 9

Service Penetration Types 10

Blank Penetration Seals 10

Plumbing Services 11

Electrical Services 12

Mechanical Services 14

Control Joints 15

Fire Stopping Products 16

Sealants 16

Mortars 17

Pillows 18

Fire Collars 20

Fire Dampers 21

Larger Opening Barriers 23

Control Joint Materials 24

Industrial fire stopping products 25

Marine fire stopping products 25

Fire Test Data & 4072/1 Compliance 26

Manufacturer’s installation instructions 27

Labelling & Paperwork 28

Good workmanship 28

Australasian Regulatory Requirements 29

Fire Ratings 29

Australian Standard 4072/1 30

Maintenance of fire stopping systems 31

Smoke leakage through fire resistant barriers 31

Training, Accreditation & Licencing 32

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5

Alliance manufacturer / supplier member companies who supply

fire stopping products

Version 1a—March 2006


6

Introduction

Dividing a building into discrete fire

compartments is by far one of the oldest forms

of fire protection incorporated into buildings.

By separating larger buildings into different

fire resistant compartments, areas or cells,

either to separate factories from warehouses,

plant and equipment from common areas, to

divide different levels of high rise buildings, or

to separate one townhouse from another, we

can effectively increase the life safety of the

occupants of the building and limit the extent

of the damage to the building and to the

business after a serious fire.

Effective fire compartment barriers require all

openings to be correctly sealed to maintain

their fire integrity. This includes larger opening

for doors, windows and the like, but just as

importantly all openings for services.

The sealing of penetrations in fire resistant

barriers is commonly referred to as “fire

stopping”.

This Technical Guide (First Edition) has been

prepared by JRAK Consulting and published

by the Alliance for Fire and Smoke

Containment (pfpa) to provide a basic

overview on fire stopping of openings for

services. These include fire stopping of

penetrations for plumbing, electrical and

mechanical service types.

The Guide provides specific information

relating to fire stopping, covering briefly the

Legislative requirements encompassing the

Building Code of Australia, the relevant

Australian Standards for design, installation,

and maintenance. It also introduces the

concept of a fire stopping system and

discusses some generic types of fire stopping

materials . It also includes some basic

discussion on training, accreditation and

licensing.

We would like to stress, that we have

prepared this document in good faith to try

and provide a starting point for end users, and

the Product Guides or Find a Product Tables

have been compiled from information provided

by the manufacturers and suppliers

themselves, and the readers are urged to

contact the relevant manufacturers and

suppliers and to do their own due diligence in

relation to the products listed. We take no

responsibility for any errors or omissions and

we reserve the right to change this document

without any notice.

Like any other publication produced by the

Alliance for Fire & Smoke Containment, we

would be happy to receive constructive

criticism and feedback from readers so we

can improve future versions.

About the Alliance

The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment

(The Alliance) was formed in early 2002 with the

support of founding members to provide a

uniform and coordinated approach for the

passive fire protection industry.

The Alliance allows members to deliver relevant

information to all building professionals via a

web site, writing and disseminating technical

papers, seminar presentations, quarterly

newsletter and relevant electronic email

updates.

C o n s u l ta n ts , d e s i g n e r s , i n s t a l l e r s ,

manufacturers, suppliers and maintenance

providers are all encouraged to support and

actively participate to improve best practice in

the passive fire protection industry by becoming

financial Alliance members.

To learn more about the Alliance please visit our

comprehensive website or phone to speak to

one of our staff.

Visit www.pfpa.com.au

Version 1a—March 2006


7

Fire Stopping Systems

Probably the most fundamental concept

covering complying fire stopping; meaning fire

stopping that complies with the Legislative

requirements and be confidently certified, is

that of a fire stopping system.

The Fire Resistance Level (FRL)

requirements relate to the overall assembly

or system as installed, not to the individual

components.

Figure 1 below, shows pictorially the concept

of a fire stopping system, which comprises the

complete assembly involving all the relevant

components and of course contingent upon

compliant installation.

Some of the more prevalent components that

make up a fire stopping system shown in

Figure 1 (below) are discussed in more detail

on the following pages.

This translates into the concept of a fire

resistant fire stopping system. The system

includes the fire barrier type that is penetrated,

(wall, floor or ceiling), the opening size, the

service penetrating the opening, the products

used to provide the fire stopping, the

installation in accordance with the

manufacturers instructions (based on the

proprietary fire test information) and effective

labelling as appropriate.

Fire Resistant

Barrier

Good

workmanship

Opening size

Fire test data &

AS4702/1

compliance

Fire

Stopping

System

Service

penetration

types

Labelling

&

Paperwork

Fire Stopping

products

Manufacturer’s

instructions

Figure 1 – Pictorial representation of the components that make up a fire stopping system

Version 1a—March 2006


8

Fire Resistant Barrier

The first component we need to consider when

looking at a total fire stopping system is the fire

resistant barrier in which the penetration we

are dealing with is located in. It must have a

fire rating or Fire Resistance Level (FRL) in its

own right.

Fire resistant barriers can be either horizontal,

such as a floor slab, lightweight ceiling or a

floor / ceiling system, vertical walls, which can

be concrete, masonry (brick and mortar) or

lightweight (plasterboard or other fire resistant

board) construction, or a combination of

horizontal and vertical, such as a bulkhead

for example.

There are different configurations and types of

fire resistant barriers and these in their own

right should have been successfully fire tested

to provide a known Fire Resistance Level

(FRL) or “fire rating”.

Understanding that fire resistant barriers are

fire tested to determine their fire ratings, it is

also important that the fire resistant barrier

type has also been fire tested in the

appropriate configuration (as a horizontal and/

or a vertical barrier) inclusive of an opening

incorporating the different service type(s) and

with the proprietary type(s) of fire stopping

products. This allows us to determine that the

fire resistant barrier, opening, service(s) and

fire stopping product(s), can operate together

to resist the passage of hot flames and gases

in the advent of a fire.

The design of penetration sealing systems

needs to take into consideration the differential

deflection in fire conditions of the fire resistant

barrier, the service(s) and the fire stopping

product(s), which if not correctly accounted for

can lead to gaps forming, allowing the passage

of flames and hot gases and resulting in

premature failure during fire testing.

Most penetration sealing systems are not

typically load bearing in their own right,

therefore the fire resistant barrier must be

adequately designed, fire tested and built in

the field to accommodate the opening and not

to transfer the load into the penetration sealing

system itself. This for example might result in

lintels in walls, additional reinforcing in floors,

or additional and independent hanging

systems in ceilings.

Installation detail for an internal fire-rated wall system (above) and a real life example

of a fire resistant barrier doing what it is designed to (left)

Version 1a—March 2006


9

Opening size

The overall size of the opening or penetration

is an important consideration when looking at

compliance or otherwise of a fire stopping

system. The general rule of thumb is, “that we

can create smaller openings than have been

successfully fire tested”, and this includes

height and/or width, or length and/or width, “but

not bigger openings”. It is therefore important

to know the geometry of the fire tested

specimens and to compare these to those we

are dealing with on site.

The diagrams below should provide additional

guidance relating to opening sizes and

allowable variations from what has been fire

tested.

Original Fire Tested Opening Size

Reduction in both height and length/width is acceptable

Reduction in length / width is acceptable

Increase in either height and / or length / width is

not acceptable

Version 1a—March 2006


10

Service Penetration Types

Another important consideration when looking

at compliance or otherwise of a fire stopping

system is the type(s), quantity and proximity of

services penetrations within the opening or

penetration in question. The configuration of

any support for the service(s) (or their

absence) can also have an effect on the

suitability or otherwise of the fire stopping

system.

The different generic types of services are

discussed below and the quantity and

proximity of these respective services are

discussed where appropriate.

Types of services

For the purposes of this Guide, the types of

generic services that typically penetrate fire

resisting barriers will be categorised as:

• Blank penetration seals

• Plumbing services

• Electrical services

• Mechanical services

• Control joints

Each type is discussed briefly below.

Blank penetration seals

The simplest openings to fire stop are those

with no service penetrations contained within

the opening. These blank openings or blank

penetrations typically result from services that

are relocated or where provision is being made

for future services for example.

Membership Structure

Manufacturer/Supplier member

Installer / Maintenance provider

Associate member

Consultant member

Typical membership benefits include;

• Opportunity to participate in

enhancing industry best practice

relating to fire and smoke

containment

• Representation on international and

local AS/NZS standards

committees

• Representation through the

Alliance as official corresponding

member to the Australian Building

Codes Board (ABCB) industry

liaison committee.

• Input to all initiatives of The

Alliance

• Attendance to all regional and

national committee meetings

• A company listing on the Alliance

web site and link to your web

address (if available)

• Product or service listings under

the “find a product” or “find a

service provider” section of the

Alliance web site

• Subscription to the quarterly news

letter

• Licence to use the Alliance logo on

promotional literature

• Framed membership certificate

Penetration without any services (blank opening)

fire stopped in this instance using fire resistant

and lightweight mortar

Contact John Rakic for further details

T: (02) 9416 0451

F: (02) 9416 0452

E: info@pfpa.com.au

Version 1a—March 2006


11

Plumbing services

Plumbing services usually consist of plumbing

related reticulation piping for items such as

toilets (pans), sinks, vanities and the like.

Pipe types

In the main, plumbing pipes are either made

from plastic or from a metallic or ductile

material.

Plastic pipes include many different types of

plastics, different internal or external diameters

and different walls thicknesses, each attribute

having a bearing on the effectiveness or

otherwise of the fire stopping system. The

most common type of plastic pipe is

unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC), or just

PVC for short, whilst others include HDPE, PP,

PE, and ABS for example.

Plastic pipes, which melt in fires, create a

special challenge for fire stopping, and

typically, fire stopping systems incorporating

intumescent (high expansion gap filling

compounds) are required to effectively seal

these penetrations during fire conditions. The

most common means of fire stopping plastic

pipe penetrations is by using a device known

as an intumescent fire stop collar (or fire collar

for short).

Metallic or ductile pipes, are less common in

plumbing applications, but include steel, cast

iron, copper and brass for example. Insulated

or lagged metallic pipes, where acoustic or

noise considerations are being catered for

around the pipe in question, need to be treated

differently than non-insulated or un-lagged

pipes.

For both plastic and metallic or ductile pipe

types, the pipe end conditions, governed by

the use of the pipe and the ability or otherwise

for hot gases to flow through the pipe prior to

any fire related reactions (such as

intumescence) occurring are also a very

important consideration. For example the end

conditions might be open or closed on one or

both sides of the fire resistant barrier.

Examples might include PVC pipes

incorporating a waste trap, used for a stack at

the top of a building, or used for a stormwater

pipe. The waste trap, as it has water in it to

stop odours in non-fire mode would be

considered a closed end condition. The stack

and storm water pipes would be considered

open end conditions.

Quantity and proximity of adjacent pipes

An opening or penetration with a single pipe

penetration is the simplest and easiest to seal

effectively against the passage of fire.

Openings with multiple pipes, are more

complicated, and the quantity and proximity

between adjacent pipes are important factors

to consider when assessing compliance of a

proposed fire stopping penetration. The

allowable configuration depends on the type of

pipes and of course the type and nature of the

fire stopping product(s). The allowable

configuration(s) will of course be governed by

the fire testing performed and will be

proprietary in nature; that is they will vary by

supplier and product type. (See Sections below

on fire test data and manufacturer’s

instructions).

A range of fire (stop) collars

Version 1a—March 2006


12

Electrical services

Electrical services are those which transmit

electrical power (current) and any associated

reticulation supporting structures. These

translate in layman’s terms to cables, cable

trays and cable trunking.

Cable types

Cables themselves consist of a metallic core,

(the current carrying medium), and an

insulating or protective sheathing (casing). The

core is more often than not made from copper

whilst the sheathing is typically made of a

plastic material. Just like plastic and metallic or

ductile pipes discussed above, there are many

different configurations of both core types and

sheathing types, which do have a bearing on

the effectiveness or otherwise of the fire

stopping system.

Cable trays

It is not unusual for multiple cables to be

routed or carried and supported / fixed onto a

cable tray. A cable tray is typically made from

steel and the size and support of the cable tray

are factors which need to be assessed when

considering compliance or otherwise of the

overall electrical fire stopping system.

It is typical to find multiple cables, clustered or

bunched together, being reticulated through a

common opening or penetration.

The type or types of cables, their quantity and

their proximity to each other, taking into

consideration the opening size discussed in

the previous section, are the important

elements when assessing compliance or

otherwise of an overall electrical fire stopping

system.

Cable trays (carrying cables) breaching an

opening which is adequately and independently

supported

Cable trunking

Cable trunking is effectively a variation to a

cable tray and typically consists of a sheet

metal form of ducting in to which cables and

conductors are reticulated.

There are many different cable types which

penetrate openings which provide a challenge

for fire stopping contractors

Cable trunking breaching a floor slab and

protected with a proprietary intumescent fire

stopping product

Version 1a—March 2006


13

Electrical services (continued)

Lighting in fire resistant ceilings

When fire resistant (incipient fire) ceiling

incorporate light fittings, these need to be

effectively fire stopped. There are a number of

methods of doing this including building fire

resistant boxes over fluorescent tube type

lighting or using proprietary intumescent down

light covers.

Electrical switch boxes

Switch boxes position back-to-back in fire

resistant and lightweight (plasterboard walls)

are required to be proprietary systems, which

essentially consist of a conventional electrical

switch box incorporating intumescent materials

inside the box.

Diagram showing arrangement of proprietary

back-to-back switch boxes

Example of a typical arrangement of fire

resistant casing over lighting equipment

Proprietary fire resistant electrical switchbox

incorporating intumescent technology

Example of a proprietary down light cover used

to protect light fittings

Version 1a—March 2006


14

Electrical services (continued)

Cable coating

Specialist coatings are used to protect against

serious spread of fire along longer runs of

multiple cables. These coatings can be either

intumescent or ablative, both having different

performance and operational characteristics.

Typically cable coating is used in larger

factories and more industrial applications, as

opposed to conventional buildings, where

insurance requirements stipulate the need to

minimise fire spread and reduce the down-time

in the advent of a serious fire outbreak.

Example of cables with fire resistant coating

Mechanical Services

Mechanical services for the purposes of this

Guide will include services for either fire

services or for Heating, Ventilation and/or Air

Conditioning services; the latter which is

commonly abbreviated as HVAC.

Fire stopping requirements of openings or

breaches in fire resistant barriers by fire related

services in the main are to cater for the

reticulation for a sprinkler, hydrant or hose reel

system. In this case the reticulation of these

systems is by way of piping which is either

metallic or ductile pipe, or, in some special

cases, plastic (orange CPVC) pipe. Pipes were

covered earlier in the plumbing services sub

section.

HVAC services typically form openings or

breaches in fire resistant barriers by way of

ducting or other openings for the transfer of

natural, heated or chilled air. They may also

include piping for refrigerants. Ducting is

typically made from sheet metal but in recent

times, there has been an increased use of

proprietary and fire retardant plastic ducting.

Fire dampers are typically used to effectively

seal against the passage of fire through ducted

openings. The opening within the fire resistant

barrier and around the perimeter of a fire

damper is an area where many breaches of

the effectiveness of fire compartments are

often found in audits of existing buildings. This

in the main is probably due to (for example) the

ineffective coordination of trades, namely the

general building and mechanical services

contractor and the absence of a specialist sub

contractor engaged to do the fire stopping of

the fire dampers.

Example of fire resistant cable coating being

applied on-site

A typical motorized fire damper

Version 1a—March 2006


15

Control joints

Fire resistant compartments or buildings will

typically incorporate transitions between floors

and walls, adjacent walls and other fire

resistant barrier intersections. There are also

times where joints are designed and

incorporated into discrete and usually longer or

wider fire resistant barriers. These transitions

and joints are designed to cater for building

movement, and to avoid the transfer of loads

during heating and cooling of the building, into

the elements themselves. The absence of, or

poorly designed joints, will typically manifest

themselves as unsightly and unwanted

structural cracking.

Fire sealing systems for control joints must of

course be able to cater for movement

throughout their design life and also provide

effective fire stopping qualities if and when

required.

The fire resistant barrier type(s), the orientation

of the control joint, (vertical or horizontal), the

joint width and length and of course the

movement requirements are important design

attributes when assessing compliance or

otherwise of the overall control joint system.

The common term for these transitions and

joints are movement joints or control joints.

They may also be referred to as linear gap

seals as their length is many orders of

magnitude bigger than their width or depth.

Fire rated control (movement) joints

Version 1a—March 2006


16

Fire Stopping Products

There are many different fire stopping product

types available to cater for the many different

penetration sealing configurations that we

encounter in buildings.

The type of product(s) used is obviously an

important element of a total fire safety system.

For the purposes of this Guide, the generic

types of fire stopping products, each of which

will be discussed in more details to follow, are:

• Sealants

• Mortars

• Pillows

• Fire collars

• Fire dampers

• Larger opening barriers

• Control joint materials

• Other fire stopping products

Sealants

Sealants

Many of the sealants used for fire stopping

purposes include intumescent additives which

allow them to expand to many times their

original volume during fire conditions

(exposure to extreme heat) which can be, but

is not a mandatory, design attribute.

The different generic types of sealants are

used depending on many different factors

which include but are not limited to:

• Movement capabilities

• Availability

• Tack free time

• Adhesion to substrates

• Requirement for surface preparation

• Resistance to water

• Resistance to UV

• Design life

• Ease of cleaning of equipment after use

• Aesthetics

• Cost

Sealants (caulks) are compounds typically

applied by caulking from a plastic cartridge,

sausage or bulk container into an opening by

way of a caulking (sealant) gun .

They come in different chemical compositions

consisting of the following more common

generic types:

• Acrylic (water based or latex)

• Polyurethane

• Silicone

• Hybrids of above

Typical fire resistant sealants packaged in a

cartridge (top) and a sausage (bottom)

Putties

Putties are not widely used in Australasia, but

are a mouldable compound which can be

pressed into openings around services or to fill

gaps. Some putties can be reused when

cables or other services are re-routed.

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17

Mortars

Mortars are powders which are mixed with

water to form a compound which can be

poured or trowelled into an opening and which

set to form a homogeneous and usually

lightweight barrier.

They are similar to concrete, except concrete

will usually crack, fissure and/or spall in fire

conditions, whereas fire resistant mortars do

not.

Many proprietary fire resistant mortars have

red or blue die additives to assist with their

recognition as a fire resistant material in the

field. This is similar to the coloured variants of

fire resistant plasterboard and other building

boards and this trend is encouraged.

Fire resistant mortars are usually much lighter

when cured than conventional concrete and

can be readily drilled through to form openings

for additional cables or other penetrations over

the life of the opening. They do not typically

require any additional steel reinforcing and are

not typically load bearing.

Fire resistant mortar used to fill large openings in this floor slab

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Pillows

Fire resistant pillows were originally developed

as a temporary form of fire stopping used

extensively in telephone exchanges during

construction. They consist of a similar

construction as a conventional pillow we sleep

on; that is an outer covering and an infill

material.

The conventional fire pillow consists of a fire

retardant cotton cover (again typically coloured

for ease of recognition), with a mineral fibre

infill material. These pillows are required to be

packed firmly into openings to ensure no gaps

are present to allow the passage of flames and

hot gases. They are often used in conjunction

with sealants to ensure that the integrity of an

opening is maintained.

In more recent times there has been the

introduction of water resistant casings and

intumescent pillow infill materials, arguably

making a more versatile and higher

performance product and negating the need for

using sealants as part of the system.

The use of fire resistant pillows is far too

prevalent and many designers and facility

managers prefer a more robust and permanent

form of fire stopping product.

Fire resistant pillows are used

to fill the large gaps within

these cable penetrations

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19

Fire collars

Fire collars, often referred to as “fire stop” or

“fire choke” collars, are devices used to

provide effective fire stopping for plastic pipes.

They typically consist of a steel or plastic

canister, filled with a predetermined amount of

intumescent (expanding material upon

exposure to excessive heat) material.

During a fire scenario, as the plastic pipe

begins to soften, the intumescent material

expands to many times its original volume,

helping crush the plastic pipe and fill the void,

providing an effective seal against the passage

of flames and hot gases.

Traditionally fire collars for use on PVC pipes

were supplied in size increments to match the

common pipe sizes, namely 40, 50, 65, 80,

100 and in some cases 150mm nominal

diameter.

Cast in situ floor slab collars

These are nailed or fixed to the formwork and

integrated within the steel reinforcing, prior to

pouring of a concrete floor slab in a multistorey

building. They conventionally consisted

of a robust, spun metal canister or casing, but

recent advances in plastic technology and the

cost competitiveness of the fire collar market

has seen a transition in Australasia to plastic

canisters.

The cast-in situ fire collar reduces the need for

time consuming and expensive concrete core

hole drilling by helping form an opening in the

floor slab for the plastic pipe to be quickly and

easily reticulated.

Some cast in situ collars can be difficult to

identify or verify in situ during subsequent

maintenance or inspection regimes.

In recent times, to cater for other plastic pipes

sizes, where the outer diameter of the plastic

pipe varies, and to reduce model numbers and

stock holdings, many proprietary fire collars

can be used on more than one size and type of

plastic pipe.

Fire collars designs consist of the following

generic types:

• Cast in situ floor slab collars

• Retrofit or surface mounted collars

• Wall collars

• Ceiling collars

• Wraps

A typical cast-in situ fire collar used for

protection of plastic pipes in floor slabs

Typical cast-in situ collars fixed into the concrete

formwork on-site

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20

Fire collars (continued)

Retrofit or surface mounted collars

These are usually fixed to the underside (soffit)

of a floor slab or to both sides of a wall, after

the plastic pipe has been reticulated through

the fire resistant barrier.

Retrofit collars are easy to identify during

subsequent maintenance or inspection

regimes.

Ceiling collars

Ceiling collars are collars fire tested and used

for breaches in fire resistant ceilings where

special temperature rise requirements

(incipient spread of fire requirements) are

called for in the Building Code of Australia.

A retrofit type fire collar (fixed after installation of

the plastic pipe)

Wall collars

Walls collars are designed especially for

vertical fire resisting barriers (walls). They are

typically a canister that is built into or fits within

a cavity in the wall, encapsulating the PVC

pipe. Those made from plastic canisters

typically require a metal sleeve when used in

lightweight (plasterboard) walls.

Fire collar situated on underside of ceiling

Wraps

Wraps are effectively fire collars without the

outer casings / canisters, typically consisting of

a pre-manufactured quantity of intumescent

material. As there is no canister, they are

typically limited to concrete or masonry

openings, where the fire resistant barrier

provides the necessary constraints to limit the

intumescent expanding anywhere except into

the opening as the pipe softens.

Example of wraps used in fire resistant barriers

A wall collar products used for protection of

plastic pipes in walls

WARNING

Conventional fire collars are not typically

suitable for protection of ducting or for toilet

ventilation systems. Refer to fire damper sub

section to follow.

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Fire dampers

Fire dampers are devices used specifically for

fire stopping where ducts penetrate through

fire resisting barriers. They are also used

where non-ducted openings are provided for

ventilation or for pressure relief, but in this

instance a better term may be a fire resistant

air transfer grille.

Mechanical dampers (motorised type)

For special applications, such as zone

pressurisation systems for example, motorised

mechanical fire dampers are necessary.

Mechanical dampers (gravity type)

The conventional fire damper is a gravity

mechanical device consisting of either a metal

curtain / shutter or a pivoted metal blade or

flap, which is held in the open position by a

fusible link (device typically containing a solder

seal designed to melt and release upon

application of heat) which initiates the closing

of the opening in a duct (using gravity) during

a fire scenario and provides a barrier to the

passage of hot flames and gases.

Due to the nature of mechanical fire dampers

and the moving parts in particular, it is

important that adequate provisions within the

fire damper assembly and around its perimeter

within the penetration (opening in the fire

resistant barrier) are incorporated to allow for

the effective operation.

As mechanical fire dampers consist

predominately of sheet metal, they provide little

resistance to the conduction of heat or radiant

heat flux through their curtain, shutter, blade(s)

or flap during fire conditions.

\

A typical motorized fire damper

Multi-blade fire dampers

These are mechanical fire dampers that

incorporate multiple blades interconnected with

linkages so as to close off the duct opening.

Modular fire dampers

For larger openings, multiple and modular fire

dampers are connected together to provide

effective fire stopping for the entire opening.

A typical curtain-type mechanical fire damper

A modular fire damper arrangement for a large

opening during fire testing

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Fire dampers (continued)

(Floor) Slab dampers

These are mechanical fire dampers designed

for use in horizontal applications, where gravity

closure will not occur. They include spring

assisted closure mechanisms.

Air transfer grilles

As discussed above these are essentially fire

resistant grilles, incorporated into fire resistant

walls for example, to provide functions such as

natural ventilation or pressure relief.

Intumescent dampers

These dampers incorporate intumescent slats,

contained in the air stream which swell up and

close of the duct opening in the advent of a

fire.

They do not include any moving / rotating parts

such as springs, and depending on the

proprietary nature of their design, can provide

both resistance to the conduction of heat and

radiant heat flux through the opening after

closure.

Typical intumescent air transfer grille

Typical intumescent slab mounted fire

damper

Combined mechanical and intumescent

dampers

Pictures showing before (above) and after

(below) fire exposure for an intumescent fire

damper / air transfer grille

Most recent development have seen some

hybrid mechanical and intumescent dampers,

predominately to try and eliminate the

intumescent slats in the air stream or opening

within the duct, which can result in additional

pressure drops and are perceived to be areas

for collection of dust and lint.

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Larger opening barriers

This category has been created to cater for

materials used to fill large openings. These

products are typically used to reduce the need

to try and extend or build new infill parts to

existing fire resistant barriers and/or to allow

for the provision of a large quantity of service

penetrations. They are used in conjunction with

other fire stopping products, especially where

the services breach the opening (for example

sealants, fire collars and fire dampers might be

used in addition to the larger opening barrier

itself).

Fire resistant and non combustible boards

Board materials, which are relatively light and

easy to cut and fix, such as Calcium Silicate

technology are a means of filling larger

openings in fire resistant barriers.

These products usually consist of a semi rigid

or rigid board like materials however mortar

and pillows are also used for fire stopping

some larger openings.

Some examples include:

• Composite boards

• Fire resistant and non combustible boards

• Coated mineral fibre batts

Composite boards

These are special and proprietary boards,

consisting of steel reinforced intumescent

sheet material, often with sheet metal or heavy

gauge foil backing materials. These are a

means of filling larger openings in fire resistant

barriers.

A larger opening protected with a calcium

silicate board incorporating a fire damper

mechanical service penetration

Coated mineral fibre batts

Mineral fibre batts (slabs), pre-painted (or

painted in situ) with an intumescent coating are

a means of filling larger openings in fire

resistant barriers.

Larger opening protected with an intumescent coating / mineral batt firestopping system

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Control joint materials

Materials used to provide effective fire sealing

between transitions and movement joints

discussed earlier are referred to here as

control joint materials.

The type of material(s) depends on the fire

resistant barrier type, size (width) of the joint

and the movement capabilities.

Some generic types include:

• Sealant

• Deflection heads

• Fire resistant foams

• Composite foam & intumescent strip

materials

• Proprietary joint systems

Deflection heads

These are a special configuration for the

deflection head or movement joint (deflection

head) required at the top of fire resistant and

lightweight plasterboard (or other fire resistant

board) walls where they meet a fire resistant

floor slab.

These typically consist of a roll formed steel

header track, with floating vertical studs, free to

slide inside the header track, used in

conjunction with fire resistant sealant.

Sealant

Discussed previously, but typically limited to a

maximum joint width of 50mm and where

modest movement is expected. These are

used in conjunction with a non-rated backer

rod material, such as open call polyethylene

foam for example, which allow the depth of the

sealant to be controlled.

A fire rated plasterboard wall deflection head fire

stopping system

Fire resistant foams

These are specially formulated / modified

foams which are fitted into linear gaps under

compression and provide a fire rating in their

own right. They may be used in conjunction

with standard non rated sealant in some

instances.

Control joint incorporating a non-rated

backing rod and fire rated sealant

A proprietary fire resistant foam product used for

control joints

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Control joint materials (continued)

Composite foam & intumescent strip materials

Composite foam & intumescent strip materials

are used for large gaps and high movement

joints. These can cater for gaps as big as

200mm wide.

Industrial fire stopping products

In the main, this Technical Guide deals with

Commercial building types which are governed

by the Building Code of Australia and all fire

testing as described in detail in this Guide is

conducted to AS1530 Part 4 from which an

FRL (fire rating) is deduced.

For industrial facilities, such as oil refineries,

steel mills and the like, depending on the

insurance underwriter, most of these facilities

will require different fire testing requirements

and in many cases products listed by

independent third party certification schemes,

where ongoing factory audit are conducted

where the products in question are

manufactured.

FM approved products

Highly compressible and flexible fire resistant

foam lined with intumescent strips

The largest underwriter is Factory Mutual

Corporation, who use their own fire testing

procedures and also have their own listing

agency. Products listed by Factory Mutual

bear a FM Approved label.

Proprietary joint systems

Proprietary fire resistant joint systems exist for

very large joints, with excessive movement

including those for seismic areas.

Example of in situ fire resistant coating applied

extensively throughout an industrial factory

UL approved products

Underwriter Laboratory is another organisation

that has fire test procedures and a third party

listing and labelling service.

Proprietary and high movement joint system

Marine fire stopping products

Fire stopping products used on ships require

special approvals from approved shipping

authorise such as the US Coast Guard, Lloyds,

DNV and others.

The products typically require increased

resistance to water and against corrosion from

salt water, but are tested to similar fire testing

regimes to our own AS1530 Part 4.

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Fire test data & AS4072/1

compliance

Standard fire test

The fire test method used here locally in both

Australia and New Zealand is

AS1530 Part 4. This test method follows the

basic principles of International Standard

ISO834 Part 1.

All fire stopping systems are required to

have been fire tested to the requirements of

AS1530 Part 4

Essentially the fire testing consists of building

and mounting a representative specimen (or

prototype assembly) onto a fire test furnace

and burning the assembly against

standardised time versus temperature criteria

and with given pressure differential conditions

across the assembly.

Measurement are taken to determine the time

taken to exceed specified criteria for integrity,

insulation and radiation as applicable from

which fire ratings can be determined for

compliance against Building Codes in Australia

and New Zealand.

Fire stopping ’product’ Standard

It is not practical to fire test all the different

configurations of service penetrations, and

based on experience and sound logic,

Australian Standard AS4072 Part 1

(Components for the protection of openings in

fire-resistant separating elements - Service

penetrations and control joints), provides some

standard fire test configurations for electrical &

communication cable penetrations, and

metallic pipe penetrations. After successfully

fire testing these standard configurations a

range of allowable cable and metal pipe types

are automatically approved. The Standard also

provides design guidance, advice relating to

installation, labelling and certification, as well

as some rules relating to variations from fire

tested specimens by way of laboratory

technical assessments and/or formal letters of

opinion.

Field of application for fire stopping products

The culmination of a manufacturer’s fire test

reports and technical assessments / formal

letters of opinions make up a proprietary field

of application for a given fire stopping product.

This field of application or scope of use for a

given fire stopping product is then translated

into manufacturer’s installation instructions for

use in the field by competently trained

installation personnel.

An inside-furnace view of an intumescent fire

damper during testing (above) and a fire

collar test following completion (below)

A fire stopping system consisting of many

different service penetrations undertaking a fire

resistance test

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Manufacturer’s installation

instructions

As discussed above, the field of application for

a given and proprietary fire stopping product, is

communicated into “dos and don’ts” by way of

written manufacturer’s or supplier’s installation

instructions. These typically include

photographs or drawings to demonstrate the

correct criteria for incorporating the fire

stopping product in question into an approved

fire stopping system.

Technical data sheets usually compliment the

installation instructions and together this

essential documentation must communicate

important limitations relating to the fire

stopping products such as:

• Fire resistant barrier types

• Maximum opening sizes

• Compatible penetrating services

• Surface or other preparation

• Fixing details

• Other important characteristics

Manufacturers and suppliers should provide adequate instruction on the correct installation of their

products in line with the as tested specimens

Adequately detailed installation instructions should ensure that the product is installed correctly

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Labelling & Paperwork

Where practical, all fire stopping system should

be labelled for identification purposes to assist

with ongoing maintenance (ongoing inspection

and testing as appropriate). Although the

requirements in AS4072 Part 1 are only

contained in an informative Appendix, it is

highly recommended that fire stopping systems

are labelled.

To assist with certification and to provide a

suitable platform for subsequent maintenance

and evidence of compliance schedule should

be provided by the installation companies at

the time fire stopping systems are employed

into buildings. These would be accompanied or

reference fire compartment drawings and each

penetration or cluster of services should have

a unique identification number.

Good workmanship

It might sound obvious but an important

element of a fire stopping system is good

workmanship. This can be translated into

competent installers with adequate training,

knowledge of the fire stopping product and fire

stopping systems in question.

In short, someone who takes pride in their

workmanship and has the appropriate skills

is required to install and / or maintain fire

stopping systems

In some States and Territories, competencies

translate in formal accreditation and licensing

requirements.

The evidence of compliance certificate,

provided to certify the works should be

accompanies with the detailed schedules listed

above.

Appropriate labelling and paper work to support

certification of fire stopping systems is an

important part of an overall and acceptable

installation

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Australasian Regulatory

Requirements

Building Code of Australia

In each State & Territory of Australia, the

Technical Provisions relating to Building

Control are contained within the Building Code

of Australia, commonly referred to as the BCA.

The BCA divides building into Classes, which

relate to the use of the Building, and for each

building Class, the Type of Construction is

determined from the rise in storeys for the

building in question. For a given Class, and

construction Type, (eg Class 2, Type A

Construction), the BCA in the deemed-tosatisfy

or prescriptive provisions, provides the

relevant Fire Resistance Level (FRL) or “fire

rating” for different compartment barriers.

Building Code of New Zealand

The New Zealand Building Code (NZBC)

works in much the same manner as the BCA

using Purpose Groups in lieu of Classes.

Fire Ratings

The required Fire Resistance Level, (FRL) for

a specific fire resistant barrier, in which an

opening or penetration exists, with and without

multiple service penetrations, is determined in

accordance with Section C of the Building

Code of Australia (BCA).

In short, the principal is that the FRL of the

fire resistant barrier (wall, floor or ceiling)

must not be compromised by and opening

and/or service penetration(s), except for

specific exemption provided within the

Building Code of Australia.

Fire-resistance level (FRL) means the

grading periods in minutes determined in

accordance with Specification A2.3, for the

following criteria—

(a) structural adequacy; and

(b) integrity; and

(c) insulation,

and expressed in that order.

Compartmentalisation

The BCA uses Fire Resistance Levels (FRLs)

to nominate the required fire rating for different

fire resistant barriers within a given fire

compartment.

The BCA definition of an FRL is as follows:

Due to the fact that most penetration sealing

systems are not structural elements, (they are

not designed and should not carry any

structural building loads), these penetrations

are not required to have a rating for structural

adequacy and this part of the FRL is usually

designated with a dash (“-“).

The BCA also provides some dispensation for

insulation, which is the non-exposed side

temperature rise, allowing some penetrations

not to require an insulation part of the required

FRL either (eg. Wall mounted fire dampers).

Photo of a brewery fire showing successful

compartmentalisation by way of a fire wall

Fire test showing different insulation and

radiation properties of fire dampers

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Australian Standard – AS 4072 Part 1

The “Fire stopping code” or the “Penetration

Standard” as it is often refereed to is in fact

Australian Standard AS4072 Part 1.

This is effectively the back-bone document of

the fire stopping industry, of course along with

AS1851 for maintenance of fire stopping

systems.

The Scope of this Standards is:

AS4072 Part 1 is a primary reference Standard

within the Building Code of Australia. The BCA

requires all openings to be protected by a fire

stopping systems complying with BCA Clause

C3.15 which requires fire testing to AS1530

Part 4 and AS4072 Part 1 compliance.

As discussed earlier, AS4072 Part 1 provides

relevant information pertaining to the design of

fire stopping systems, stipulating requirements

for movement and serviceability in particular,

guidance relating to acceptable variations from

fire tested specimens, installation

requirements, requirements for marking or

labelling and relevant documentation used for

certification purposes.

This Standard sets out requirements for the

testing, interpretation of test results, installation

and certification of sealing systems—

(a) around penetrations through separating

building elements which are required to have a

fire-resistance level or, if applicable, a resistance

to the incipient spread of fire; and

(b) at control joints between building elements

which are required to have a fire-resistance level.

Effective fire stopping can assist in the

protection of life, property and business in real

fires.

Anyone working with fire stopping systems

must have a thorough understanding of both

this Standard and should own a current copy of

the Standard.

Obviously in a short form Guide like this we

cannot provide any detailed information here

regarding AS 4072 Part 1.

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Maintenance of fire stopping

systems

Although compared to many other items of fire

safety equipment, Passive Fire Protection

products (fire stopping systems) are relatively

unseen and often unthought of (even

forgotten), they do require regular inspection

and testing, adjustment and lubrication of any

moving parts and the like. These items are

typically referred to as maintenance and are

conducted to ensure that when there is a real

fire, the fire stopping barriers, complete with all

openings / service penetrations, will have the

best possible chance of avoiding fire spread as

per their intended design function.

Although the Building Code of Australia does

not call up Australian Standard, AS1851, this

Standard is typically called up by other means

and in most cases provides the relevant

frequency and inspection and testing

schedules for fire stopping systems.

Smoke leakage through fire

resistant barriers

It is a common misconception that an effective

fire resistant barrier will stop both flame spread

and also the spread of smoke.

It is important to recognise, that fire resisting

barriers do not have any tangible and

quantified smoke (leakage) containment

properties. Many fire resisting barriers, by way

of the fire doors and many of the fire stopping

systems (fire dampers, fire collars and other

fire stopping products) will not provide effective

smoke containment properties and may result

in untenable environments for occupants trying

to escape in a fire, and/or might lead to

excessive smoke damage to buildings when

fires occur.

A fire tested and fire resistant barrier or any

other fire test component does not mean this

product will stop smoke leakage or keep

tenable conditions on the non exposed side

for the duration of the fire rating or FRL.

There are different test methods, such as AS/

NZS1530 Part 7 that deal specifically with

smoke leakage capabilities of assemblies.

At the time of writing there is currently quite a

lot of discussion relating to the smoke leakage

through penetration seals (fire collars in

particular) and Australian Standards are

convening with the Australian Building Codes

Board to address whether we need to tighten

up the requirements of the Building Code of

Australia and further develop current and other

Australian Standards dealing specifically with

containment of smoke.

Ongoing inspections are important to ensure

effective fire stopping is maintained in order to

avoid situations like those depicted above

Smoke leakage through a tight fitting fire door

during fire testing

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Training, Accreditation and

Licensing

As we discussed above, fire stopping systems

are complete assemblies and those people

who install and / or carry out maintenance

(service) of openings in fire resistant barriers,

need to have a good understanding of all the

requirements relating to fire stopping.

In many ways it is surprising that those who

work with Passive Fire Protection Equipment

and Systems, which as we know are important

items for safety of occupants and protection of

property and business in the main, do not have

to have a specific trade or qualification to work

in this specialised area.

We will not discuss the specific competencies

in any detail here except to say as part of the

initiatives supported by the Alliance for Fire

and Smoke Containment, (PFPA) Accredifire

plans to deliver training and provide

accreditation for installers and service

personnel who maintain Passive Fire

Protection Equipment and Systems.

Visit the Accredifire web site to see what

training courses are being held in your State or

Territory, phone us on (02) 9416 0451 for a

friendly chat, or email your questions to

info@accredifire.com.au

Things are starting to change, but the changes

are very much at a Regional State or Territory

level, underpinned by National Competency

based Training materials in this area.

Training for the Passive Fire Protection Industry

www.accredifire.com.au

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Supplier Contact Details

Hilti

Bullock Mfg Pty Ltd

22 Pike Street

Rydalmere NSW 2116

Phone: (02) 9638 5766

Fax: (02) 9684 2250

Sydney (head office)

23 Egerton Street

Silverwater NSW 2128

Phone: 131 292

Fax: (02) 8748 1191

www.hilti.com.au

www.bullockmfg.com.au

Exfoliators P.F.P

3 Kitchen Road

Dandenong VIC 3175

Ph: 03 9706 6049

Fax: 03 9706 6046

www.exfoliatorspfp.com.au

Holyoake Industries

NSW Office

3/10 Mitchell Road

Moorebank NSW 2170

Phone: (02) 9602 6555

Fax: (02) 9602 6533

www.holyoake.com

Firepro Centabuild

NSW

12 Hope Street

Ermington NSW

Ph: 02 9804 0262

Fax: 02 9858 5957

www.firepro.com.au

KBS Passive Fire Pty. Limited.

1/585 Military Road

Mosman NSW 2088

Ph: (02) 9969 7100

Fax: (02) 9969 7200

www.kbspassivefire.com

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Supplier Contact Details

Lorient Australia

29/9 Powells Road

Brookvale NSW 2100

Ph: (02) 9907 3844

Fax: (02) 9907 3855

www.lorient.com.au

Smoke Control

Ph: 1300 665 471

Fax: 02 9416 0657

www.smokecontrol.com.au

Promat Australia

National contact phone: 1800 30 20 20

www.promat-ap.com

Trafalgar Services / Building Products

25 Mitchell Road

Brookvale NSW 2100

Phone: (02) 9938 5499

Fax: (02) 9938 7019

www.trafalgarbp.com.au

Pyropanel

122 - 124 Beresford Rd

Lilydale VIC 3140

Phone: (03) 9735 5688

Fax: (03) 9739 5772

www.pyropanel.com.au

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