The insurance industry is increasingly citing mineral wool as the preferred material for insulating composite panels, given the fire risk associated with composite panels with combustible cores. The current LPS 1181 test which is approved by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) does not distinguish between combustible and non-combustible cored systems and is insufficient when it comes to assessing risk from an arson attack on the outside of a building. However, no foam cored panel has achieved the Factory Mutual Standard 4880 ‘reaction to fire’ test. And the ultimate test for composite panels is BS 476 part 22 which measures both integrity (fire resistance) and insulation (prevention of spread).
Measures are being taken to improve the situation and reduce confusion among manufacturers and product suppliers. New non-combustible panel manufacturing facilities in the UK are becoming more available and reducing the cost of non-combustible cored panels. In 2003, the new Euroclasses replace the Building Regulations. They categorise building materials into seven classes ranging from A1 (non-combustible) through to F (highly combustible).