Flame Retardant Casting Resins: Light and self-extinguishing – suitable for large projects!

The requirements for fire protection in the building and transport sector have increased steadily in recent years. In line with the increasing need for safety, the specifications have been tightened even under conditions in which the occurrence of fire is not given or highly unlikely. In order to be able to comply with the regulations, (combustible) building materials are more and more being added flame retardants, which take on an important preventive function in the prevention or containment of fires.

If the materials are used in different industry applications, the addition of flame retardants must be kept flexible in each case, as the applicable standards in different industries, but also in national comparisons, often show considerable differences.

Task: Flame-retardant casting resins as a substitute for mineral wool, glass or insulating materials

In large-scale construction or infrastructure projects where standardised furnishing elements are used, cast foam is increasingly being used – for example in the furnishing of hotel rooms or cabins for cruise ships. Until now, mineral wool, glass or insulating materials have often been used to connect or stabilise interior and exterior walls in such prefabricated furnishing modules. The relatively high weight of these materials had a disadvantage here, especially in the maritime sector. Enormous weight savings can be realised here through the use of cast foam.

Especially in building construction or in shipping, compliance with sometimes very high requirements in the area of fire protection is a crucial requirement for the approval of new materials. The specifications here extend to the use of intumescent systems, as used in conjunction with combustible materials against the effects of heat and fire, where they form an insulating protective layer through carbonisation and simultaneous foaming.

Plastic solution: PU 61 FR polyurethane cast foam as core element in sandwich panels

The new two-component lightweight foam: polyurethane cast foam PU 61 FR was developed by ebalta especially for large-area applications in which flame protection plays a central role. For example, it is used as a core element in sandwich panels and boards in extensive construction and renovation projects. Big advantage over alternative materials – the low density! This not only saves transport costs, but also – especially in maritime applications – operating costs. Another advantage is the very short working time. The PU 61 FR already starts foaming after about 20 seconds and then cures in a few minutes. The panels can be removed from the moulds correspondingly quickly.

The panels produced with the casting foam are self-extinguishing, which means that the material extinguishes in a short time in the event of a fire. The low smoke toxicity also significantly reduces the risk of smoke poisoning. The PU 61 FR has already been tested by ebalta customers according to fire protection class B1. However, since the qualification of the manufactured parts depends on the overall system, certification of the individual components is only possible in exceptional cases.