Analysis of Fire Spread Prevention Measures in ETICS and their Influence on Durability
Keywords:fire safety, external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS), expanded polystyrene (EPS), fire barriers
In recent years, the external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) has been applied increasingly in a lot of buildings for energy conservation purposes. However, the increased use of different combustible insulation materials in the ETICS has raised serious fire safety problems. Fires involving this type of ETICS have caused severe damage and loss. Often, the fire spread depends on the thermal material of ETICS. Products of polymeric foams or inorganic fibrous material are commonly used. Practice and case studies of researchers show that involved expanded polystyrene is the most dangerous case of the fire spread. Therefore, it is important to choose the right material. In order to limit fire spread and improve fire safety, fire barriers from were suggested being installed. These measures may include the installation of a non-combustible lintel above each opening in the façade (windows, doors) to prevent flames penetrating the insulating material. Additionally, firestop barriers can be installed horizontally over the entire façade. The fire barriers have to be made of non-combustible materials, such as mineral wool, and are required on every alternate floor in buildings. Energy renovation is a great chance to increase fire safety in buildings. Therefore, the requirements of additional fire safety and prevention are different in Europe. Currently, there are not much data available on the behaviour of different insulation materials (expanded polystyrene and mineral wool) in ETICS and their relevant characteristics during operating life and ETICS durability time.
This paper cites the requirements of additional fire prevention in different European countries. Analysis of the physical properties (vapour resistance, thermal transmittance, water absorption and etc.) of the expanded polystyrene and mineral wool products of is presented. This article presents an investigation of Thermo vision of building, which was renovated three years ago and has implemented fire barriers.