Flame Retardant Breather Membrane Sets a New Standard of Safety
With the new DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb® flame retardant breather membranes, our mission is greater safety. Not all construction materials behave in the same way in a fire. A flame retardant breather membrane can play a key role in improving the safety performance of a building, by increasing time for building occupants to escape and potentially saving lives.
As industry leaders committed to safety, DuPont developed Tyvek® FireCurb® Housewrap – flame retardant breather membranes using new, patented technology, and meeting EuroClass B (EN13501-1) fire reaction classifications as set by the European Commission. Adding flame retardancy to watertight but vapour-open Tyvek® breathable membranes, its development signals a shift in Tyvek® breather membranes classification from the standard fire reaction class E up to Euroclass B.
Definition of EuroClass B
Euroclass B is part of the fire reaction class system, EN13501-1, created to classify reaction to fire of materials, construction products and building elements and should replace UK fire class system BS476 Points 6 & 7.
In February 2002, EN13501-1 (Classification of construction products and building elements on reaction to fire) became a European Standard. Now Member States should implement this new standard and, although the rate of adoption is at varying speeds, there is a clear need for a move toward integration and harmonisation across the European market.
In recent technical literature, national fire class systems are often confused with the European classification. Special attention should always be paid to the norm behind the classification. If in doubt, you can obtain the information from the manufacturer. It should also be noted that Euroclass F remains for “not tested”, while Euroclass E represents the lowest classification of tested products.
Ignitability and Single Burning Item Tests
Euroclass B describes the fire performance of construction products based on two different tests. To obtain Euroclass B classification, flame retardant breather membranes must comply with test standards in two categories: Ignitability Test (EN ISO 11925 2), and Single Burning Item (SBI).
- Ignitability Test indicates membrane flammability under exposure to a small flame
- Single Burning Item (SBI) determines the potential contribution of a product to a fire, simulating a single burning item in a room corner near to that product
Materials awarded EuroClass B classification have been proven to exhibit very low flammability, limited or no contribution to fire, low heat release and low smoke development. In comparison, materials with EuroClass E classification are only required to meet standards set by the Ignitability Test, allowing occupants enough time to leave a burning building.
What Is Currently on the Market?
Many construction products contain ingredients which are designed to make the product less easily flammable, and such flame retardants may be either added to the bulk of the material or applied as a coating on the surface before or after installation. These treatments can be very effective in preventing fires, or slowing the spread of a fire once established, allowing more time for building occupants to escape.
In the past, the majority of flame retardant products contained halogens such as chlorine and bromine. When the material began to burn, these halogens would be released as gases, affecting the combustion reaction, and so extinguish or diminish the fire. However, these flame retardants came with a distinct disadvantage. The chlorine and bromine gases could contribute to toxic fumes. As a result, manufacturers have long been looking for alternatives.
This is where the DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb® flame retardant breather membranes come in – with their hard-to-burn layer created by using a halogen-free flame retardant coating, developed specifically for its limited environmental impact.
Using new patented technology, DuPont has developed Tyvek® FireCurb®, which retains the strength, durability and water resistance of Tyvek® membranes and adds a flame retardancy that can be used in all building types, from high-rises to roof constructions, rainscreen cladding to timber frame constructions.
Tyvek® FireCurb® offers a solution which meets increased requirements in building and construction, as set out by the European Commission’s construction products directive.
Why not order a sample today?
The development of Tyvek® FireCurb® means that in all types of building applications, new flame retardant breather membranes from DuPont take fire protection to the next level.
DuPont continues to introduce new membranes and developments to meet different building requirements so it’s not surprising that using Tyvek® FireCurb® has specific benefits for different building applications.
- Ventilated Façades for High-Rise Buildings
Limitation of fire propagation between floors by external envelope.
- Open Rainscreen Cladding
Increases safety from unintentional small fire sources (e.g., cigarettes).
- Timber Frame Building Construction
Limitation of fire propagation during construction phase.
- Roofing Constructions
Increased safety during and after construction phase.