Most Fire professionals would be well aware that people are seldom killed by fire, but rather from the effects of smoke inhalation well before flames reaches them.
For more than 5 decades LAF’s philosophy has been to adopt products and systems which are not combustible, flammable and do not evolve any smoke as this reduces the risk presented to occupants within a building.
The Building Code of Australia and two of the most critical building standards in Australia namely AS 1668 and AS 4254 readily recognise repeatedly this critically important facts which products must comply with before they can be used on supply, return or smoke handling systems:
2.2.2 Combustibility and temperature of fusion
Where required by Clauses 3.4(b), 3.7.2 and I 1.2.3, the materials employed on ductwork shall have the following performance characteristics:
(a) Combustibility The materials shall be deemed to be not combustible.
(b) Temperature of fusion The material s shall have a temperature of fusion not less than 1000°C.
B.C.A. SPECIFICATION A 2.4 - FIRE HAZARD PROPERTIES
2.2 Form of test –
Tests must be carried out in accordance with — (a) for the determination of the Spread-of-Flame Index and Smoke-Developed Index — AS/NZS1530.3;
2.1.2 Rigid ductwork
Materials used for the construction of rigid ductwork shall comply with the following requirements:
(a) The assembled duct system shall have a smoke development index not greater than '3' and spread of flame index not greater than '0' when separately tested in accordance with AS1530.3
Protecting life, property and emergency fire services from fire and smoke during fires is the primary objective of today’s mechanical and electrical codes as well as HVAC standards. LAF believe that prevention is better than cure hence our objective is to restrict the generation and spread of smoke within a building, through the elimination of products that combust, evolve smoke, or that ignite and flame. LAF’s Vermiduct is non-combustible, non-flaming and does not evolve ANY smoke according to very stringent Australian Standards.
Ventilation systems might be responsible for accelerating the initial spread of fire by the rapid dispersion of smoke and decomposition products. The adoption of fire preventative as well as containment measures should counterbalance the potential fire dangers.
Building codes require that a duct passing through a fire wall be insulated on its perimeter with DUCT FIRE PROTECTION, the fire rating of which should be the same as that of the compartment walls through which it passes.
Given the complexity and tremendous influence of the ductwork construction on the performance of a fire rated system, Vermiduct® has been researched and tested as a complete system up to and including 4 hour protection to: large and small duct sizes, access panels, ventilating / inspection grilles, variable hanging rod sizes, fan enclosures, and PVC ductwork (3 hour FRL).
LAF systems offer a total fire separating solution to internal as well as external fire conditions. They have been developed in strict accordance with the guidelines set down by major international ductwork Standards such as AS 4254-1995, BS 5588 Part 9 and SMACNA. These are well recognized and widely adopted throughout the Mechanical Industry.
In commercial buildings, a make-up air system must replace the air that is removed from the building in order to prevent building pressurization problems due to the exhaust flow. If the wall through which the air is being transferred is part of a fire or smoke rated assembly, the transfer opening will require protection in the form of a fire damper, smoke damper, or smoke curtain. Fan-powered exhaust systems are required in buildings to ensure that the outdoor air ventilation rates are maintained, control moisture accumulation, and remove contaminates. Building mechanical codes and industry standards like AS 1668.1 & 2, BS 5588.9, ASHRAE Standard 62-2001 - Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality typically set required flow rates.
LAF has formulated Vermiduct for fire protection to supply and exhaust air handling ductwork on a variety of surfaces. When mechanical reinforcement is needed, Vermiduct combined with Quickmesh can be applied to every type of exhaust duct or where hot products of combustion are likely to develop internally.
The Exhaust duct will be exposed to a challenging number of forces and movements (Piston effect, dead load scenarios, vibration, harmonics, etc) that will have to be absorbed and/or tolerated without failure by the Vermiduct® system. Vermiduct® is a non-combustible Gypsum base compound especially formulated to provide passive fire protection to interior elements of Air Handling Systems and is totally compliant with the requirements of the BS 476 and AS 1530.4 provide up to four (4) hours fire resistance level.
Vermiduct® combines superior fire resistance properties with excellent Thermal Insulation as well as Noise abatement properties.
In building services engineering, plenum is used for mixing air from different duct systems or as a large channel to convey air from one compartment / duct to another. There are many instances where a Plenum must also function as fire separation between critical air and building zones and at the same time be capable of preventing the passage of fire from either side. The LAF Trimesh® system is self-supporting and offers a light, thin and extremely cost effective ‘two way’ fire rating system. It is ideal for providing durable air-tight plenum enclosures which are well suited for use as high pressure transfer and return air shafts.
Most international standards such as AS 1668 etc require the ‘full system’, not just the sheet metal ductwork, to be fire isolated. The fan, which conveys smoke / fire in specific isolated compartments, and its motor should also be fire isolated to assure the integrity of the full system thus ensuring the safe egress of building occupants.
Vermiduct® has been approved by the CSIRO to provide fan enclosures with up to 120/120/120 FRL. Fan enclosures measuring up to and including 5m (l) x 2.4m (w) x 3.5m (h) can be catered for. LAF’s fan enclosure systems have been tested in conjunction with Fire Door Frame 2040 mm x 820 mm, Access Panels, Fire Dampers up to 2400 mm wide, PVC Steel and Copper Pipe penetrations as well as Electrical Cable Trays.
Fire dampers form a very important part of a building’s compartmentalization line of defence to place throughout the building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts, to ensure that fire cannot spread outside of a fire affected zone through metal ductwork. The building code, or any other authority having jurisdiction, require fire dampers and combination fire/smoke dampers to be inspected and independently tested upon installation. Thereafter the dampers require inspection and testing every 5 years.
LAF employ qualified inspectors to carry out fire damper inspections, and our staff are equipped with the latest endoscopic Video tools to carry out non-destructive inspections and testing. LAF have carried out numerous unique fire tests in order to rectify and validate incorrect fire damper installations. We have test data which allows our staff to rectify and certify most non-compliant fire damper installation.
For more information please contact us