BASF now also offers its Palusol® fire-protection panels as a sandwich system (SW) in conjunction with high-density fiber panels (HDF). The new Palusol SW is available in different compositions, ranging from a simple combination of a Palusol panel with an HDF all the way to multi-layered sandwich structures. This facilitates the manufacture of fire doors, one of the main applications for this material. Customers can bypass the need for the demanding production step of gluing the individual fire-protection Palusol panels to other door components. Moreover, the fire resistance of some of the sandwiches has been successfully tested in the form of parts or components of parts. For instance, certain Palusol SW panels developed specifically for the United States have been certified to resist fire for 20 to 90 minutes.
Advantages for door manufacturers
In making Palusol SW, the BASF experts utilize the benefits of the highly adhesive epoxy resin used to coat the main components of standard Palusol, i.e. hydrous sodium silicate and glass fibers. Since the outer layers of the new sandwich system consist of HDF, door manufacturers can easily glue them employing commercially available wood adhesives. This accounts for a considerable simplification for customers: They can manufacture the panels faster while still using their standard equipment. Only HDF panels belonging to emission class E1 having a formaldehyde limit value of 0.1 ppm go into the production of Palusol SW.
Differing statutory requirements
Owing to the combination variety offered by the Palusol sandwich panels, door manufacturers in different countries can respond flexibly to the applicable statutory requirements. Thus, for example, the 8-layered, fire-tested Palusol SW 90 offers two advantages when it comes to the thin-walled doors employed in the United States: it combines the relatively small thickness of 16 mm with the fire protection statutorily required of the door components, namely, a resistance time of 90 minutes. Along with the Palusol SW products, customers are acquiring the license required for the construction of their doors, thus saving themselves the work of undertaking their own developments and performing the expensive fire tests. Different statutory requirements apply in Europe: here, according to fire-protection regulations, the door manufacturer has to subject the entire door to testing and it is not sufficient to test just the individual door components.
Palusol: preventive fire protection
Palusol fire-protection panels have been approved for use in construction for more than 30 years, they have been classified according to DIN 4102-A2 and they serve primarily for passive fire protection, for instance: in fire doors, fire-protection glazing, safety cabinets and fireproof bulkheads for pipes, cables and ventilation elements. Palusol can be processed as whole panels, or else as strips that are then installed in joints, in gaps and on edges. Palusol panels consist essentially of sodium silicate and glass fibers that are coated with epoxy resin and cured. At temperatures above 100°C, the panels expand under foaming pressure, giving rise to a fine-cell, pressure-resistant, non-flammable and thermally insulating foam. This foam then fills the joints and gaps, thus preventing the propagation of heat, fire and smoke for a certain period of time.