A building's fire safety is not determined by the choice of insulation material
Finnfoam has always emphasised the importance of structural protection from fire. The choice of insulation material does not contribute to a building's fire safety. Instead, fire safety must always be addressed using structural solutions. Finnfoam contains no chemical fire retardants as they are based on bromine, a chemical hazardous to people and the environment. Apart from carbon monoxide, Finnfoam produces no toxic fumes when burning. It can be compared to the burning of wood. The key elements that determine the fire safety of a building are the choice and maintenance of electrical equipment, furniture materials and upholstery, and automatic extinguishing systems. The effect of thermal insulation materials on fire safety is negligible, as the materials require a temperature of 400°C to ignite – the temperature at which wood also ignites. At this point, the inside temperature of a building on fire is somewhere between 800 and 1000 degrees minimum, meaning there is little left to save.
After 20 minutes of intense burning (SBI), the surface is still intact and the wall remains standing.
Finnfoam Oy commissioned an SBI test (compliant to European standards) to be performed by the VTT Technical Research Institute of Finland. Finnfoam, normally given the fire classification F, achieved fire class B (B-s1, d0) results with a combination of plaster and wire mesh less than 3 mm thick. Finnfoam also achieved the best possible score in terms of smoke production, -s1, meaning that there was very low smoke production. The structure is similar to the surface of the Tulppa wet room panel with an added single-layer plaster coating. In the event of fire, Finnfoam melts away from the walls when the interior temperature reaches the range of 300 to 500°C (the material's softening temperature is approximately 100°C and the melting temperature is below 200°C). This slows down the increase of temperature inside the building as the melting process binds thermal energy and, after melting, the space is no longer heat-insulated. With non-melting insulation materials the case is exactly the opposite: in interiors insulated with non-melting materials, the temperature climbs to above 1000°C very quickly and they contribute to the fire.
Regardless of the choice of insulating material, sectioning fire protection walls and fire stops must be implemented to prevent the spread of a fire. When insulating air/smoke ducts, stone-based heat insulation materials are always recommended.