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3 construction requirements for fire rated walls

Paul Baggermans
by Paul Baggermans on December 12, 2017

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There are a lot of characteristics and customized options for fire rated walls in high risk industries. The purpose of fire rated walls is to slow or stop the spread of a cellulosic, hydrocarbon or jet fire. Commonly, these walls are positioned within the structure as an internal partitioning system and as external fire protection solutions. The type of fire rating and the location of placement determines the needed characteristics for the proper fire rated wall.

There are however some standard construction requirement each wall needs to comply to. In this blog I will highlight the 3 most important requirements for fire rated walls.

Insulation requirements

The degree of fire protection is determined by the layers of stonewool insulation within the construction of the wall. An “A” rated wall will require less layers of insulation compared to a “J” rated wall. When a wall is constructed according to its fire rating, it has to be tested on whether the rating is actually correct. When the wall passes the test, it can be applied onto the structure it is intended for.

Construction material requirements

Manufacturers are expected to design their products like, fire rated doors, fire rated walls and fire rated windows, with non-combustible materials like steel, concrete or glass. Non-combustible materials do not burn but they are affected by fire. They can melt or give off toxic fumes. Therefore, IMO FTP 2010 has developed strict regulations for non-combustible materials in order to prevent hazards.

Fire rated walls are generally constructed of steel, which is a strong material with high stiffness, toughness and ductile properties. It can be developed into any shape, which are either bolted of welded in construction. Steel is a fire resistant, non-combustible and durable material with many excellent structural properties. The most common materials used for fire rated walls are mild steel, stainless steel and galvanized steel.

Acoustic requirements

Acoustics requirements are necessary especially in areas where people live and work. Loud noises should not interfere with day-to-day operations and should not be considered annoying during resting time. Therefore, walls could be made acoustically insulated to ensure this.

The sound insulation requirements regarding field measured values are determined in NORSOK S-002. These should be applied on all installed wall assemblies, unless stated otherwise.

During the laboratory test, the sound reduction index should be at least 5 dB better that the field requirement. Additional requirements state that special attention should be paid to avoid noise leaks, flanking transmission, noise transmission via floor and ceiling voids, etc.

Some walls are perforated to absorb the sound better. These walls should be designed in such a way that the airborne sound reduction requirements are not affected.

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Paul Baggermans
Written by Paul Baggermans
Paul is a self-assured general manager & global marketing director whose mission is to advice customers in finding the best fire and blast protective products for their project requirements. His great interest in other business environments allows him to build a mutual trustworthy relationship with new and existing clients.