Fire and The Designer

Importantly, despite being LPS1181 approved, plastic foam PIR panels do not offer the same level of fire performance as Eurobond's non-combustible stonewool cored composite panels. LPS1181 essentially measures two levels of fire performance, the lower 'reaction to fire' level or grade Ext-B and the higher 'fire resistance' level grade Ext-A. Plastic foam PIR architectural wall panels rarely afford fire resistance beyond 30 minutes insulation and in order to achieve this, require additional joint protection or fixing treatment. The equivalent Eurobond mineral wool cored composite panels provide up to 2 hours fire resistance and are installed without joint protection.

Furthermore, in many instances, it's not flames but smoke and toxic fumes that cause injury or death. In fact, flames are often the least likely to kill and it is actually the effects of toxic smoke that prove to be the greatest danger. Smoke is not just about risk to life. The largest economic cost of a fire is from smoke. It causes major damage to building contents and interiors and some businesses never fully recover from a major fire.

Fire tests such as BS476 Part 22 have demonstrated that stonewool cored panels emit relatively small amounts of non toxic smoke when subjected to these fire conditions. In contrast, some other insulation materials are known to emit relativley large quantities of dense toxic smoke dense smoke containing hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride, isocyanates and carcinogenic compounds such as benzene and dioxins.

When specifying composite panels, make sure you consider all facets of fire performance. One way to promote delivery of a low risk building solution is to specify Eurobond panels systems with a non combustible core.

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