There is a lot of confusion about so called “fire rated boards” and I think it is prudent to discuss a little about
fire ratings and the use of so-called fire rated board products, that make up part of fire rated systems.
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Table of Contents
Terms Widely Used In The Industry
Some of the terms used commonly to refer to boards used to help provide a fire rating or FRL include:
- Fire board
- Fire resisting
- Fire resistant board
- Fire rated board
- Fireproof board
- Fire protection boards
I am sure some of you will relate to one or more of these terms, but have you ever thought what these terms really mean, and if they are correct adjectives for board used to help provide a fire rating or FRL?
In short, a fire rating or FRL is assigned to an entire assembly that has been subjected to a fire resistance test and achieved a particular fire rating or FRL (given in minutes).
Product themselves, like a board are not fire rated per se; only when they are fire tested as part of an overall assembly or systems, does an FRL be gained for that assembly or system. The board is part of the fire rated assembly and system.
So, the market refers to fire rated boards, fire resistant boards and fireproof board as those used in fire rated assemblies and systems.
It might sound like splitting hairs, but it is a very important and accurate technical distinction.
There is no such thing as a 2 hour fire rated or fire resistant board in its own right – the ‘system’ including the service penetrations (if any) must be tested identically to have an FRL apply to that ‘system’.