What happens when your plastic pipe melts away?
Plastic pipes have many advantages over steel and copper but resistance to fire isn’t one of them. When exposed to the extreme heat of a fire, plastic pipes will eventually melt away, leaving open holes in fire rated walls and floors. Intumescent additives are the secret ingredients that make fire seals possible for these pipes.
A hole in the wall
Many walls in a modern building will be designed to prevent a fire from moving between rooms. The simplest way they achieve this is by simply creating a barrier that the flames can’t physically pass through, something often referred to as a “fire-stop”.
A hole in the wall allows flames to literally bypass the “fire-stop” and immediately spread into adjacent rooms. This is why it can be so devastating when a plastic pipe melts away - a fire seal can only be maintained if the remaining hole can be closed somehow.
Kaiflex Pyrostar: an intumescent solution
Intumescent compounds are the solution that fire safety engineers turn to. When exposed to high temperatures intumescent compounds don’t burn. Instead they physically expand in size.
This expansion can be so dramatic and powerful that it can be strong enough to physically crush a plastic pipe and firmly seal the gap left behind. They are the only solution that works for fire sealing plastic pipes.
Kaiflex Pyrostar is a flexible fire wrap that incorporates an intumescent additive. Used in combination with standard Kaiflex it not only provides “insulation” to prevent secondary combustion (where the heat conducted along the pipe causes something to ignite far away from the fire itself) but also provides enough expansion to close the gaps left by melting plastic pipework.