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Fire Retardant Panels – Building Boards

A range of panels manufactured to intentionally reduce the spread of flames and delay ignition in the event of a fire.

Fire retardant panel products are specified in a wide range of end use applications such as wall linings, partitions, display panels, ceilings etc. Typical installations are: hotel foyers, offices, public libraries, schools, court houses, hospitals, cinemas, shopfitting, bar fitting and some shipbuilding applications.

Old standards/New standards

Prior to the implementation of the Construction Products Regulation in July 2013, fire testing and classification was carried out in accordance with the British National Standard, BS 476. The two main classifications were class 1 and class 0.

Class 1: Was classified according to part 7 of BS 476 which required testing on the surface spread of flames. For a class 1 board, the spread of flame had to not be more than 165mm in 10 minutes.

Class 0: Was classified according to part 7 and part 6 of BS 476 and required compliance with the ‘fire Propagation index’ in addition to the surface spread of flames. The fire propagation index measures the head released when timber burns. Panels achieving a class 0 specification needed to have a Fire Propagation index of <12.

The new European Standards (EN 11925 and EN 13823), in particular the Single Burning item test, measure the rate of fire growth, lateral flame spread, total heat release, level of smoke production and number of flaming droplets of a timber product.

UK building Regulations 

In England and Wales, the fire requirements for buildings are dealt with by Approved Document Part B to the Building Regulations. Since the implementation of the Construction Products Regulation, Class 1 and Class 0, in relation to timber cladding and plywood used in permanent construction, are now phased out where a harmonised product standard exists.

Euroclass B transposes to Class 0 and Euroclass C transposes to Class 1 NB: it is not possible to obtain a National Class and sell to a European class or vice versa. In other words, you must carry out testing against European standards to achieve a European classification.

Are the new Euroclasses as good as the old National Standards? 

The simple answer to this is that they are different. Euroclasses are a new set of Reaction to Fire tests that are deemed as acceptable as the old British Standards by UK Building Regulations. Now, for the first time in the UK Building Regulations, these new reaction to fire tests evaluate smoke emission for timber and plywood. Euroclasses are not time rated fire performance classifications so do not offer 30 or 60 minute fire resistance. The finished product requires additional independent testing to achieve such a rating.

Quick Reference Guide - Building Boards
Product
Applications
Density
BBA
Internal Use
External Use
Cutting Method
Racking to BS594
Fire rating
Fire Resistant
  • Bathrooms and shower areas
  • Wet and humid areas
  • Swimming pools
  • Passive fire protection boards
  • OSM, pods and park homes
  • Timber frame racking board
  • SIPS fire mitigation sheathing
  • Soffit strips and cavity closures
  • Fire rated stuf partition walls
  • Large sheet tile backer
  • Boiler Banking Board
  • Render carrier board
  • Suitable for use with acrylic brick strips, stone cladding etc
  • Solid fuel surround
1050kg/m³
1050kg/m³
1050kg/m³
1050kg/m³
Score and
snap
Score and
snap
Score and
snap
Score and
snap
A1 Non
combustable
A1 Non
combustable
A1 Non
combustable
A1 Non
combustable
Load and
non-load
bearing
partition
60, 90 and
120 minutes
Non-load
bearing
partition
60 minutes
Quick Reference Guide – Fire Ratings

A question we are frequently asked is which fire rated panel will provide 30 minute or 60 minute fire resistance. The answer of course is not straight forward and although fire rated panels can be used as part of a fire barrier system, such as partitions, the finished design requires additional independent testing to achieve such a rating.

Since the introduction of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) Fire retardant panels are tested against EN13823:2002 (SBI or Single Burning Item Test) and EN11925 (Ignitability Test) and given a rating against their performance.

SBI is the key test and records parameters relating to the rate of fire growth, lateral flame spread, heat release and smoke emission.

There are seven Euroclass Classifications for fire performance of different construction materials ranging from A1 and A2 through to F. Classifications for wood based panel products such as Plywood, MDF and Chipboard include B, C, D and E. Euroclasses D and E relate to untreated material.

Class
Performance Description
Fire Scenario
Heat Attack
Examples of Products
A1
No contribution to fire
Fully developed fire in a room
At least 60kW/m2
Products of natural stone concrete, bricks, ceramic, glass, steel and many metallic products
A2
No contribution to fire
Fully developed fire in a room
At least 60kW/m2
Products similar to those of class A1, including small amounts of organic compounds
B
Very limited contribution to fire
Single burning item in a room
40kW/m2 on a limited area
Gypsum boards with different (thin) surface linings. Fire retardant wood-based panel products
C
Limited contribution to fire
Single burning item in a room
40kW/m2 on a limited area
Phenolic foam, gypsum boards with different surface linings. Flame retardant wood-based panel products (thicker than in class B)
D
Acceptable contribution to fire
Single burning item in a room
40kW/m2 on a limited area
Wood-based panel products with thickness > about 10mm and density > about 400kg/m3 (depending on end use)
E
Acceptable contribution to fire
Small flame attack
Flame height 20mm
Low density fibreboard, plastic based insulation products
F
No performance requirements
Small flame attack
Flame height 20mm
Products not tested (no requirements)
Fire Retardant Panels – Building Board Products

Fire Retardant Birch Plywood EN 636-2 • EN 314-2 Class 3 Glue Bond • CE Marked • FSC® Certified

Treated Birch Plywood meeting the requirements of Euro Class B and suitable for structural applications.

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Fire Retardant MDF MDF • Fire Retardant • EN 13501-1 • CE Marked • FSC® and PEFC™

Thoroughly tested medium density fibreboard panels for use in public buildings where fire retardant panels are required by building regulations.

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Fire Retardant Plywood Fire Retardant • EN 13501-1

Chemically treated plywood with improved fire retardant attributes.

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Fire Retardant OSB FSC® SmartPly FR OSB/3 - CE Marked

Oriented Strand Board treated with a fire retardant solution during production.

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Fire Retardant Chipboard P2 • EN 13501-1 • CE Marked • PEFC™ Certified

P2 Furniture Grade Chipboard treated with fire retardand phosphate salts to meet Euroclass B.

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MoistSure

Magnesium-based, water resistant, tile backer board that does not swell, rot or degrade following contact with moisture.

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Multi-Pro

A multi-purpose building panel with excellent thermal and moisture performance.

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Multi-Pro XS

Strengthened magnesium oxide panel suitable for interior and exterior applications.

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Fire Retardant Poplar Plywood FR Euroclass B • EN 13501-1 • EN 636-1 • EN314-2 Class 1 Glue Bond • PEFC™ or FSC® Certified

Pressure impregnated, fire retardant Poplar Plywood suitable for interior applications.

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Multi-Rend

A high strength, external render carrier board which offers an alternative to block and render, brick, masonry or cladding finishes.

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