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Expert thoughts

Predictable in case of fire

When you look at material properties such as stiffness, thermal conductivity and elongation, the behavior of aluminium in case of fire is predictable. This is good because critical temperatures can be determined.

If the core temperature of aluminium exceeds 200°C the structural strength is still sufficient but starts to decrease considerably. Consequently, this temperature level in the aluminium structure should never be exceeded by using the right fire protection.

Protective materials, including mineral wool, ceramic fibers or intumescent paint systems, can be used in areas where special fire classes, i.e. A60, are required. They provide structural integrity as well as thermal insulation of the aluminium structure with a core temperature increase no higher than 180°C for 60 minutes.

The criteria for fire resistance are more demanding for the fire class H120 (exposure to hydrocarbon fires). Temperatures in these kinds of fires can reach 1100 ºC. The temperature of the protected aluminium should not exceed 200 ºC for 120 minutes. Also for this kind of fire scenario, effective protection materials for the aluminium structure are available.