Dramatic Display of Oakworth’s Commitment to Fire Safety
Many fire boards are available to the UK construction market and it is not always easy for customers to work out which product performs best in terms of passive fire protection. When choosing a fire protection board it is important to confirm that fire resistance has been evaluated based on a test of a representative part of a building rather than the individual material in isolation. The performance of the board in terms of its reaction to fire will change when it is applied to other material or a system such a timber frame wall panel. Testing such a product in its intended environment is the best way to ensure it is fit for purpose.
We recently teamed up with IPP Black Mountain to test the fire resistance of Magply advanced fire and sheathing board in a PIR insulated 140mm timber frame wall application. We use Magply in our manufacturing process where there is a need to improve the wall system’s fire resistance performance and so I was keen to see first-hand how the product performed in the rigorous BS EN 1364-1: 2015 fire resistance test.
The Oakworth team installed a full-scale timber frame wall at Exova Warringtonfire’s fire testing laboratory. To ensure the test mirrored a real-life build, we replicated our normal methods of timber frame manufacture and installation and incorporated the complete wall system of a 9mm Magply Fire and Sheathing Board. There was plasterboard on one side and Magnesium Oxide board on the other.
The next day the panel was lifted into the oven and the edges were sealed. Then all we could do was stand well back and watch… After thirteen minutes we saw the steam coming out of the timber. It was 797 degrees in the oven and 21 degrees the other side. A truly amazing demonstration of the fire panel’s efficiency! By 40 minutes we were all a bit twitchy and could see that the insulation had started to melt.
In what was both a frightening and enlightening experience, the tested assembly withstood the raging fire for 75 minutes and achieved the globally-respected mark of quality assurance BS EN 1364-1. An amazing achievement, it was also a vivid reminder of the importance of educating customers about fire safety. We are delighted that Oakworth has received certification for a Fire Control Panel which we hope will further enhance customer confidence in our commitment to providing effective passive fire protection systems.
This was the one working day when clock-watching was acceptable.
Inside the kiln after the panel had been lifted away. The heat was unbelievable!