The FOAMGLAS® Melt-Shield Effect
Surface acts as a heat shield
In the event of fire, the FOAMGLAS® surface acts as a heat shield thanks to the so-called Melt-Shield Effect.
When it is exposed to flames, after 30’, the surface starts melting but also starts to solidify or to "glaze" and as such absorbs the heat and forms a protective layer. The remaining mass of material thus remains undamaged.
In the event of fire, FOAMGLAS® has an additional very important advantage: it protects the load-bearing building materials. In a normal fire scenario for reinforced concrete components, where temperatures of around 1,000 °C or more are often reached, it almost always means an irreversible reduction in structural stability. Therefore, buildings made of this material must be demolished after a heavy fire. This is different if FOAMGLAS® insulation is used. In the event of fire, FOAMGLAS® acts as a shield and will protect the behind positioned structure at least for 30’ to 90’ and beyond from the temperatures higher than 180°C or higher. This is not only proven in large scale fire tests, but also after real fire cases.
Melting point > 1,000 °C
Exposed to temperatures over 1,000 °C, in the first 30’ and beyond, depending the thicknesses as from 50 mm FOAMGLAS® insulation can be acting protective. According DIN 4102-17, in which the material at least 80 mm is exposed to a t° of 1000°C during 90’, the thickness reduction my not be higher than 50%.
An example: In a fermentation tower insulated with FOAMGLAS® as part of renovation and repair work, a severe fire occurred (2013). Experts subsequently assessed the static quality of the surfaces of internal walls (reinforced concrete structure).
The result: typical damage effects cannot be detected in the concrete. The recommendation is even that the concrete may continue to be used indefinitely.
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The correct specification and installation of building products and materials - including insulation - is critical to achieve fire safety and minimise the development and spread of fire. In industrial applications, for example, the use of insulation materials that can soak up flammable liquids should be avoided.