In Australia we know all too well that fires cause devastating damage. That’s why creating buildings with appropriate levels of fire safety is incredibly important. Did you know insulation can play an important role in the fire safety of a building? Non-combustible insulation such as earthwool insulation will not catch fire if exposed to fire, and fire-proof insulation such as James Hardie insulation can help prevent the spread of fire to make a building more safe. This blog will tell you What are the best non-flammable insulation materials.
Which insulation materials are non-flammable?
To determine if an insulation product complies with the Building Code of Australia, AS 1530 testing can be used. This test is small scale and involves placing a sample of the insulation material in a furnace at 750°C. If the material satisfies a particular set of requirements, it is considered non-combustible.
Glasswool (previously known as fibreglass) and rockwool are two common insulation materials that are non-flammable. Glasswool is manufactured from materials such as recycled glass bottles and sand which are melted at very high temperatures before being turned into fibres. The fibres are then bound together, traditionally with petroleum based chemicals. However, these days products such as Knauf Earthwool Insulation use bio-based materials and no harmful chemicals to bind the fibres.
Rockwool offers even more exceptional fire ratings than glasswool, but is more expensive. It is manufactured from a mixture of natural rock and recycled material that are bonded together. It is non combustible, does not conduct heat and can withstand temperatures of above 1000°C. Rockwool insulation traps air between fibres which restricts heat transfer, and its fire-proof properties are not compromised if brought into contact with water.
High quality non-combustible insulation
There are several excellent options of non-combustible insulation products on the market. Choosing the right one for your specific application will depend on your budget and any other properties you want the insulation to have. For example, you may wish to consider the environmental impact, ease of handling and the R value of an insulation product. The R value of an insulation product indicates how effective it is at thermal insulation: a higher R value indicates higher resistance to heat flow.
Some examples of high quality non-combustible insulation we recommend at Pricewise Insulation include:
Knauf Earthwool Insulation is a specialised and more environmentally friendly type of glasswool insulation. It has been independently tested with the standard AS 1530 combustibility testing and is considered non-combustible.
Other benefits of Earthwool Insulation include low itch factor, excellent thermal insulating and acoustic properties, resistance to atmospheric moisture uptake and environmental benefits thanks to ECOSE Technology.
Bradford Fireseal Insulation
The Bradford Fireseal range of insulation products are made from Rockwool, meaning they are specially designed to be fire-proof. As well as meeting Building Code of Australia requirements, Bradford Fireseal offers Bushfire Attack Level rated products that are ideal for areas prone to bushfires.
James Hardie Insulation
As with Bradford Fireseal, James Hardie Insulation is made of Rockwool and has exceptional fire ratings. It has minimal organic properties which mean it will not produce any toxic smoke. During fires, more people are harmed by inhaling smoke than by the flames themselves, so this is a valuable property.