ACOUSTICAL CEILINGS & WALLS | Bulgaria

FAQs - Fire & Suspended Ceilings

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1 - What is the difference between fire reaction and fire resistance?
Fire reaction refers to the surface burning of materials and the rate at which they contribute to the growth of a developing fire within a particular area.
By comparison, fire resistance is concerned (after the fire has developed) with preventing the fire from spreading through the building and attacking and destroying elements of structure.
 
2 - What then is a fire Euroclass?
This is the harmonised European classification for the fire reaction performance of building materials which may appear (in decending order of significance) as A1, A2, B, C, D, E or F.
Also, and depending upon national market legislation, additional information regarding smoke production and flaming droplets or particles, may be required, for example A2-s1, d0.
 
3 - What is the fire resistance of Armstrong ceiling tiles?
In relation to suspended ceilings, fire resistance can only be achieved by a combined tile and grid system; so there is no such thing as a fire resistant tile or a fire resistant grid.
Depending upon national market legislation, the type of structure to be protected ie wood, concrete or steel and our product offer, our Armstrong ceiling systems can typically provide 30, 60 or even more minutes protection. Full details of the ceiling type and construction, protected structure and tested time are given in each fire report, a copy of which, is available on request.
 
4 - How many clips must I use for Armstrong fire rated ceilings?
By 'fire rated' you presumably mean Armstrong ceiling which gives structural fire protection. The need for clips depends upon national market legislation, practice and product offer. Your ITS group will be able to advise you further.
If your enquiry relates only to the fire reaction performance of Armstrong ceilings then hold-down clips are not necessary for this application.
 
5 - Which type of fire resistance do Armstrong ceilings have?
To some extent this depends upon national market legislation, and test performance, so your ITS group will be able to advise you on which products are tested and the performance that they provide.
Within the EU, there is a system that describes three basic criteria for fire resistance as REI and these are defined as:
R = load bearing (capacity to provide structural stability)
E = integrity (capacity to remain intact)
I = insulation (capacity to maintain a defined temperature on the unexposed side of the building element).
Each member state is free to determine the criteria that shall apply within their own markets so these letters may also appear as RE or EI and all three combinations will be followed by a number eg EI 30, indicating the minimum time in minutes that protection can or must be maintained.
 
6 - Which Armstrong ceilings provide 30/60 minutes structural fire protection/resistance?
This relates to national market legislation, the type of structure to be protected ie wood, concrete or steel, and our product offer. Your ITS group will be able to advise you on the specific products that can be used.
 
7 - So what is the difference between 'active' and 'passive' fire protection?
The fire protection of buildings can be “active” eg the use of detectors, automatic alarms (to people and emergency services), water sprinklers or gaseous systems, or it can be “passive” which is the provision of suitably tested lining materials and building constructions which inhibit the growth and spread of fire.
 
8 - Will the inclusion of recessed lighting fittings in Armstrong ceiling affect its fire resistance?
Have the lighting fittings have been successfully tested, or assessed (by a recognised expert), in conjunction with the proposed Armstrong ceiling?
If they have not, you should speak to the relevant building control and/or fire authority and obtain approval before commencing the Armstrong ceiling installation. You cannot rely on unauthorised methods, such as overlaying or surrounding the lighting fittings with 'fire blankets', mineral wool pads or offcuts from the ceiling tiles, to assume that the ceiling's fire resistance will not be compromised.
 
9 - I am installing an Armstrong ceiling within a room that will include a gaseous fire protection system; are there any special considerations that I should note?
In the event of a detected fire, a gfp system will rapidly release an inert gas into the room that will suppress and extinquish the fire without damage (from the suppressant gas) to the room's contents. The rapid introduction of the gas will result in a significant, but short duration, over-pressure within the room. This could result in lay-in ceiling tiles being lifted from the grid if sufficient and suitable pressure relief devices have not been included as part of the gfps installation.
You should consult with your client to see if hold-down clips (eg BP A7890) are required to minimise tile movement. The use of Orcal clip-in tiles is an ideal solution for these types of installation because the positive gas pressure cannot dislodge the tiles from their grid.
 
10 - What is the consequence if I fix a partition into an Armstrong fire rated ceiling grid?
If you are just relying on the partition/grid fixings to locate the partition, this should not adversely affect the ceiling's structural fire protection, provided you ensure that the partition is not fixed to a main runner either side of the grid's expansion cut-out which would prevent it from activating in the event of a fire.
However, if you are also using the ceiling grid to provide lateral restaint to the partition then, in the event of a fire, this could contribute to the premature collapse of the ceiling system with the consequential loss of protection to the structure.
If it is this second reason why you want to provide the partition/grid fixings then you should speak to the relevant building control and/or fire authority and obtain approval before commencing the installation.
 
11 - Can I overlay the ceiling with a mineral wool blanket to improve the ceiling's fire rating?
In general any overlay that is added directly to the back of an Armstrong suspended ceiling to try to increase it's fire, thermal or acoustic performance, and which has not been successfully tested, or assessed (by a recognised expert), in conjunction with the ceiling, could have an adverse effect on the structural fire protection and fire reaction properties of the ceiling system.
You should not undertake the installation of any overlay for this purpose without speaking to the relevant building control and/or fire authority and obtaining approval.
 
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