Testing the Fire Integrity of Aluzinc

Fire Integrity is of prime concern for many clients…back in June 2000, we had an indepentent testing organization carry out a test to demonstrate that correctly specified Petrochem Aluzincjacketing will withstand a typical hydrocarbon fire. Petrochem Aluzinc clad insulated pipes where tested alongside stucco aluminium sheet, aluminium foil, PVC and Butyl rubber cladding, a typical hydrocarbon fire does not reach the melting point of steel. Aluminium melts at 660°C…

In any hydrocarbon fire…oil or gas…temperatures climbs to 660°c within minutes. This is beyond the melting point of aluminium and as the temperature continues to climb, all protection for pipework and ductwork is lost. This allows the fire to wreak havoc at the joints on the newly exposed pipes and ducting, thus further fuelling the fire or allowing smoke ingress into the ducts.

Results of independent tests carried out by the Warrington Fire Research Centre, showed that aluminium cladding and foil cladding melt within three minutes in a typical hydrocarbon fire. Even in a standard building fire, aluminium and aluminium foil will melt within eight minutes. However, Petrochem Dobelshield Aluzinc jacketing still protects the insulation and pipework after thirty minutes.

During the 30 minute test it was found that aluminium cladding, foil cladding and PIB all melted within three minutes, PVC ignited within 30 seconds.

BS 5970: 1992 32.12.4 “Aluminium clading. It should be noted that, under certain conditions, aluminium clading may constitute a hazard in the event of fire in large process plant or the immediate vicinity, when it is possible for the aluminium to melt and ignite adjacent materials. In a major fire, molten incandescent aluminium can be scattered over a wide area”

Agrément Certificate 93/2971 relates specifically to Aluzink and states “The product is non-combustible with an AA classification surface and makes no contribution to fire or its spread”