Intumescent products are all around you and you may not even realise. Intumescents are known as passive fire protection, they just lay dormant for years but if there is a fire they react.
But how do they work, I hear you ask?
The Simple Answer
When an intumescent product is exposed to the heat from a fire the material inside it expands many times its size blocking up any potential avenues for fire and smoke to escape through.
The chemical reaction proves very useful as intumescent material remains flame resistant for a certain amount of time depending on the product.
This is what makes it passive, intumescents do not put out fires, they contain it and stop the spread. This means it gives you valuable time to escape and limits damage caused to a building by a fire.
Examples Of Intumescent Products
Door seals: The most common intumescent products you will see are door seals. They are embedded in either the door or frame and if there was a fire they block the gap between the door and the frame.
Some door seals also have additional features like smoke seals and acoustic properties.
Pipe collars and wraps: The expansion of the intumescent material is utilised in different way in pipe collars and wraps. They are designed to expand inwards and crush the pipe that is going through a wall or floor to stop the transfer of flames.
Grilles: Where ventilation is required grilles are used in doors and walls and are designed to block up an air transfer vent in the event of a fire.
Putty and mastic: These are designed to fill cavities and opening that maybe oddly shaped and needs a more malleable material to fill it.
Pillows: Intumescent fire stop pillows can be used as either temporary or permanent fire barriers and are ideal for sealing cable trays and ducts through fire rated structures that you may need to have access to at a later date.
Getting It Right
When ordering products you need to be sure that the intumescent materials meet British standards. You can make sure of this by checking product specifications or data sheet.
Remember to check size specifications so that you get products that fit your doors, pipes or gaps to ensure that the product is properly effective.