Concrete has always maintained an advantage over steel as a construction material because of its inherent fire resistance. This has been the conventional wisdom but one which has been challenged with recent findings and research into the performance of concrete elements under fire loads, both actual and simulated. Concrete starts to weaken at around 300°C and loses significant design strength at around 550°C. In our opinion a safer approach in a fire would be to prevent the concrete lining and reinforcement from reaching elevated and critical temperatures through the process of spalling. This is best achieved by applying a protective fireproofing material to the concrete that is specifically developed and tested for this purpose.
LAF’s CONCRETE FIRE PROTECTION system can incorporate any of the Vermitex® range products as these have undergone frequent fire testing to prove its reliability under fire conditions on many elements of building construction. Reinforced concrete slabs is one of them.
AS 3600 (Section 5.10 - Increase of Fire-Resistance periods by use of Insulating Materials) allows for FIRE PROOFING CONCRETE through the use of CONCRETE FIRE PROTECTION materials as approved under CSIRO’s FCO-0779 such as LAF’s Vermitex® ‘AF’. A limitation to thicknesses without mechanical reinforcement is sanctioned by AS 3600 and by the CSIRO in assessment FCO-1504, however AS 3600 also refers to the use of other non-proprietary materials such as vermiculite/perlite plaster mixes.
Read More »