The biggest fires in our country generally start in industrial buildings operating in Organized Industrial Zones and causing great losses of life and property.
Also spreading fire threatens neighbouring structures. However, spreading of fire can be minimized by using appropriate products and the right details, enclosing the fire in the place it started and minimizing the losses.
In this article, we discuss the subject of "fire resistance in industrial structures" in aspect of sandwich panels.
Sandwich panel is used for the most of roof and facade systems of industrial buildings and warehouses located in our country. Unfortunately, neither emission of toxic gasses that threatens human life nor Regulation on Building Protection from Fire, BYKHY(*) which is essential for walls and roofs that is made with sandwich panels to meet in fire resistance are considered while choosing these products.
(*)BYKYH : Regulation on Building Protection from Fire
There are 2 factors that threaten human life when sandwich panels start to burn. These are toxic gas emission and fire resistance.
Toxic Gas Emissions
When sandwich panels start to burn, so does the panel filling material. In this case, toxic gas emissions can occur and cause people in places without enough ventilation lose their lives in a very short time due to intoxication. This is especially likely with the sandwich panel structure elements which are manufactured using polyurethane-based filling materials. Therefore, stone wool panel filling materials would be the right choice if building elements will be made with sandwich panels.
Fire resistance classes of roof and facade systems used in industrial buildings and warehouses are described as following in BYKHY Appendix 3-C:
• If there is a sprinkler system in industrial structures having a building height up to 21,50 meters, roof and facade systems must be fire resistant for at least 60 minutes. If there isn´t any sprinkler system, structure elements must be fire resistant for at least 90 minutes.
• If there is a sprinkler system in industrial structures having a building height between 21,50 – 30,50 meters, roof and facade systems must be fire resistant for at least 90 minutes. If there isn´t any sprinkler system, structure elements must be fire resistant for at least 120 minutes.
• It´s mandatory to have a sprinkler system for industrial structures having a building height over 30,50 meters. If roof and facade systems in these structures function as a bearer, it should be fire resistant for at least 120 minutes; otherwise, they should be fire resistant for at least 90 minutes.
Fire resistance described in BYKHY means the fire resistance during the mentioned time for each resistance (R), integrity (E) and Insulation (I) criteria in structure elements carrying the loads (e.g. roofs). Such as REI 60, REI 90 or REI 120… Structure elements which do not carry loads (e.g. walls) must provide fire resistance times for both integrity and insulation criteria. Such as EI 60, EI90, EI120.
We can say that in most part of industrial structures, building heights are lower than 21.50 meters. Therefore, if we decide to use sandwich panels, we will have to use products that at least meet EI60 criteria for facade products and REI90 criteria for roof products. If a sprinkler system is not used in the building, facade and roof panels complying with E190 and REI120 must be used in this case. Although most of the panel manufacturers claim that they meet these criteria, it would be safer to use products certified in fire resistance accredited laboratories.
Fire resistance can´t only be provided by choosing the right product. If panels having 60 minutes fire resistance is applied improperly, it won´t resist fire even for 10 minutes. Panel manufacturer should present an application solution that provides fire resistance with the product itself. And this requires experience.