Fire Retardant Plywood
Splice offer a range of best in class fire rated (FR) plywood, board and panels, designed and specified to reduce the spread of flames and limit the contribution to the growth rate of a developing fire.
Fire damage in buildings can be devastating and as a result FR products are increasingly being specified in a wide range of end uses, to help suppress the spread of fire, allow safe evacuation and reduction of financial loss.
Popular applications include wall linings, partitions and ceilings in hotel foyers, offices, public libraries, schools, hospitals and shopfitting, FR products are also used extensively within the trade exhibition sector.
When specifying high-performance FR products, we offer a good range of certified and independently tested options, all available from stock nationwide.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIRE RETARDANCY AND FIRE RESISTANCE?
Retardancy is the slowing down of flame spread.
Reducing the combustibility of vulnerable substrates (such as wood) making it difficult to ignite.
Resistance is the stopping of flame spread.
Providing an insulating barrier on a substance, allowing the material to maintain its integrity for longer.
Each of the three sections of the Splice’s classification indicate an important aspect of the material’s reaction to fire:
Contribution to Fire
This indicates whether a material helps keep a fire going. Classified accordingly, with one being the safest rating (completely fireproof materials, e.g. stone) and other being the least safe. Correctly treated plywood
Rates the density and opacity of smoke produced by the material, which indicates the level of toxicity. Only three grades can be obtained, the order being from lowest to highest opacity. Well treated plywood will achieve a classification of the good, the best possible rating representing the lowest risk.
This rating indicates the material’s ability to produce burning droplets that help spread the fire. The ratings depending on the number of droplets produced in ascending order. Well treated plywood will achieve a certain level, the best possible rating, which means it will not produce any burning droplets that can help spread the fire.
WHAT IS A FIRE TEST CLASSIFICATION REPORT ?
The independent institute chosen to carry out the fire testing will issue a classification report together with related test analysis after the confirmation procedure is complete. The prime purpose of the classification report is to declare what fire classification has been achieved on the tested product with reference to the spread of flame, the volume and toxicity of smoke emitted and its propensity to produce flaming droplets.
ESSENTIAL INFORMATION TO NOTE ON A FIRE TEST CLASSIFICATION REPORT
A clear, unambiguous explanation of the product tested. For example, if plywood is made from a single species, the species must be named. If mixed species plywood is tested, then all the species of each individual veneer must be named.
The classification of the processed product will be noted on the test report.
This reflects how the treated product will perform in relation to its reaction to fire behaviour, and in relation to the additional classifications covering smoke production and flaming droplets/particles.
The minimum thickness of treated timber must never be less (thinner) than the minimum thickness stated on the classification report. However, all thicknesses greater than that stated are valid.
Field of Application
This section may cover restrictions on how and where the fire-treated product may be used. Examples may include minimum product thickness and density requirements, whether the product must be fixed mechanically to a substrate, whether ventilated or non-ventilated air gaps (or none) need to be incorporated, or whether horizontal or vertical joints need to be specified.
Fire-Retardant Plywood Advantage
Fire-retardant plywood is stronger than solid wood thanks to the way it is constructed. In addition, it offers greater protection against mold and bugs.
The use of fire-retardant plywood may be required to meet local building fire codes, particularly for buildings situated in high-density areas. Contractors are increasingly turning to this type of wood to increase overall building safety, even when local codes do not require it.
Usage of Fire Retardant Plywood
This type of wood can be found in homes, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and other buildings. Some types of fire-retardant plywood are approved for both exterior and interior applications.
Fire-retardant plywood is typically made using a high-pressure system to fully infuse untreated wood with a chemical retardant. The type and thickness of the wood will determine how much pressure is required.
One advantage of this type of wood is the amount of quality control it undergoes. The core samples are taken from each batch to determine the burn rate and retardant concentrations. The plywood must actively slow fire spread and resist ignition in order to pass the tests, and the depth of charring under specific burn conditions may also be assessed. Batches that fail on even a single metric will not be sold.
These wood products also undergo rigorous testing for durability in conditions of high moisture and heat. In addition, they are tested for corrosivity and compatibility with paints and stains.
Although fire-retardant plywood is slightly heavier than untreated wood due to its processing, it is still very lightweight and easy to move. Because it is so light, it also comes in larger sheets that make it suitable for larger projects.
In the case of a building fire, chemicals in fire-retardant wood react to the heat to create carbon dioxide, carbon char, and water. The char insulates the wood from the fire, acting as a mild flame retardant to slow the fire’s spread.
This wood also offers an extra layer of protection against wildfires and lightning strikes.
Fire Retardant Ply is easy to cut and size. It can be drilled, fastened, and overlayed like untreated wood. Thanks to its cross-layered structure, plywood does not split easily along the grain the way solid wood might when you drive a nail through it.