What are Penetration Sealing Systems?
Penetration sealing systems are critical elements of a building’s passive fire protection strategy. Penetrations occur in a building when pipes, cables, ducts or otherwise pass through a building’s walls, floors and ceilings. Naturally, this penetration leaves a hole around the element, which, if left unsealed, would allow the passage of fire and smoke. As a result, penetration sealing systems are essential to ensure the fire compartment line is maintained in the event of a fire.
While fire doors have specific and clear regulations, the rules and knowledge around sealing systems is lesser known. With extensive experience in remedial work for penetration sealing systems, our advice is designed to safeguard lives and protect your property if you are ever faced with a fire.
Penetration Sealing Systems Across Different Sectors
With such a vast array of materials and seals required across different sectors, there are many fire penetration sealing options. Passive fire protection measures are only as strong as their weakest leak, so at Adaston, we use products specifically manufactured and designed for fire-stopping.
This works by ensuring fire compartmentation is maintained, allowing for the safe evacuation of occupants and for emergency services to take over. They’re also essential for compliance and any potential insurance claims in the event of a fire. Each sector poses its own challenges, such as intensive use in hospitals and changing regulations in high-rise residential accommodation. We’ll cover versatile solutions below, but you can read our article about passive fire protection in the healthcare sector to understand it in more depth.
Mastic Seals and Intumescent Sealant
These specially formulated fire penetration sealing mastics are often made from acrylic, silicone or graphite and expand when exposed to extreme heat. They fill the cavities in walls, windows and doors, such as those from installed services, with a fire-resistant material. It ensures that, in the event of a fire, the area remains sealed and prevents or delays the passage of fire and smoke.
All mastic seals used for penetration sealing systems must adhere to the strictest British and EU regulations. Each sealant is different and only compatible with certain other materials, so each property will have different requirements for sealants. At Adaston, we ensure all seals provide maximum fire resistance and can deliver a bespoke solution to our clients’ needs.
Fire barriers are slabs made from dense rock wool designed to provide fire, smoke and acoustic barriers. They’re suitable for filling voids in dry walls and masonry walls and floors. Fire barriers are cost-effective penetration sealing systems providing up to 4 hours of heat and fire resistance, depending on the specification you opt for.
Duct covers protect essential ducts, which provide ventilation and electrical systems, in the event of a fire. Different types of duct covers protect escape routes, prevent cable fires and protect electrical installations, such as fire alarm systems.
All penetration sealing systems have a fire rating, which guarantees how long they’re effective in protecting against fire. The higher the rating, the longer it protects against the spread of fire.
Pipe Wraps and Collars
Wraps and collars are a method of fire penetration sealing whereby combustible pipes are wrapped in a metal and intumescent coating. In the event of a fire, combustible pipes will melt, potentially leaving an unprotected void. A collar or wrap, if installed correctly, will expand when heated to fill this potential void, ensuring the effectiveness of the building’s compartmentation strategy.
Pipe collars and wraps are often made from layers of graphite intumescent sheets and are adjustable to fit various pipe sizes. They’re a viable option for pipes with a diameter of up to 200mm.
Ideal for ongoing construction work, fire or intumescent pillows are placed wherever needed when a fire-resisting compartment is breached. They come in an array of shapes and sizes and can be used indoors and outdoors, making them a versatile fire-stopping option.
Fire pillows expand with intense head, forming a tight seal to prevent flames, smoke and toxic gases from spreading.
Penetration Sealing Systems at Adaston
Penetration sealing systems are essential to ensure that voids in a compartment line, whatever their cause, are sealed with an appropriate and tested fire stop seal. Due to the range of products, manufacturers, test evidence and otherwise, there’s no “one size fits all” solution.
As fully certified and third-party accredited contractors, we’ll ensure your systems are fully compliant, cost-effective and retain their fire resistance while protecting lives and property.
Contact the team at Adaston today to discuss how we can help you.
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