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Adhesives.org BLOG: What makes Firestop different from other sealants?

Posted By ASC, Monday, June 26, 2017
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017

BLOG:  What makes Firestop different from other sealants?
 
By Sharron Halpert, Adhesives.org Expert Blogger

 

There is one important element in firestop materials that makes them different from so many other sealants is the way they behave in a fire. Of course the “secret sauce” that goes into the product that makes them more expensive than other sealants also. The key element in many, but not all, firestop products is their capacity to expand when the product is exposed to the heat seen in a fire scenario. The industry lingo is intumescent. When looking at the sealants used in firestop they are either used in joint applications so they need to allow for movement, or they are used in through penetrations in which case many applications will require an intumescent product. Today we will discuss why this more expensive material can not be substituted for the non-intumescent material.


First of all, this intumescent material is needed when dealing with combustible through penetration such as insulation around pipes or ducts. As the fire causes the insulation to melt or soften, the expanding intumescent firestop will close the gap that is created. It’s even more obvious that intumescent material would be needed around plastic pipes. Plastic pipes will melt at temperatures around 300F-500F degrees, depending on their chemical composition. For many pipes under 2” diameter an installer can use an intumescent sealant. “Many” is a tricky word. It alludes to the potential for exceptions, and in this case the exception is FRPP, plastic fire sprinkler pipes. Most manufacturers will not be able to firestop 2” diameter FRPP with just sealant.


Some firestop materials are not even compatible with FRPP because over time the chemical incompatibility will etch holes in the plastic pipe. It is recommended that installers check the...

 

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