Minerals to the rescue - materials promoting fire retardancy

Summary

When considering the choice of minerals to enhance the fire  performance of a product it is usual to think of alumina trihydrate and magnesium hydroxide. These mineral fillers certainly do provide enhanced flame retardancy to a wide range of plastic and rubber products. However, there are a number of other minerals that can be used to improve both flame retardancy and fire resistance, particularly for products used in the building industry (especially steel structures). The difference between flame retardancy and fire resistance is addressed and details of European standard testing methods presented. Materials that can be used for fire protection are fire-resisting boards (a combination of fillers and inorganic binders such as Portland cement, gypsum and calcium silicate), cementitious vermiculite/perlite sprays, expandable graphite, and delaminated vermiculite dispersions.  A list of European fire test standards is given.

Primary author(s): Ellicott G

                            Association for Specialist Fire Protection

Source: Ind.Miner.

            No.429,2003,p.44-45,47

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