Fire Safety

We get many inquiries about fire safety of PAL ducts and the controversy of what is the best ducting material in any fire incident. The below article would explain more about fire reaction of PAL panels in comparison to Galvanized sheet metal.

The characteristics of a material's fire reaction are currently classified in many nations around the world with the use of conventional numbers, such as 0 (zero) and 1 (one) for the materials that catch fire with greatest difficulty and prevent the propagation of fire. Higher numbers, such as 3 (three) and 4 (four) are used for the materials that catch fire most easily and are incapable of preventing the spread of fire because they contribute to the propagation of the fires themselves through the dripping of burning parts and incandescence, etc.

Both PAL PIR and Phenolic panels meet the "BS- 476 parts 6, 7 class 0" standards for fire propagation and flame spread. Overall in any fire incident, PAL ducts affect the fire and smoke load by less than 0.5%. This percentage is much lower than margin of error used for determining the amount of combustible items present in a room and it is not even significant for standards concerning to fire resistance of the compartments. Therefore PAL ducts give their contribution and increasing considerably in the degree of overall safety in a building.

The test method used to determine the fire resistance is similar all around the world, and differ only by the conventionalized letters that accompany the numbers that indicate the resistance over time in minutes. By way of example, in Italy, "REI30" indicates that a material's "resistance and stability R", "fire and gas seal E" and "thermal insulation I" are guaranteed for 30 minutes. Even if the extended form might read R 90, E 60, I 30, the material's weakest resistance is always used for classification in order to ensure the greatest safety.

Materials with a fire resistance of less than 15 (fifteen) minutes are considered NOT fire resistant.

The above considerations indicate that ventilation and heating ducts built in galvanized sheet metal are not fire resistant at all; on the contrary, due to its high thermal conductivity, sheet steel does not even succeed in reaching 3 (three) minutes of fire resistance, even when these traditional sheet metal ducts are insulated with sponge or fibrous Class 1 materials or even incombustible fibrous materials capable of ensuring 10 minutes of fire resistance.

In addition these traditional heavy metal ducts pose a serious risk to both the people escaping the building and rescue teams when they collapse as a result of the fire.

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