Wallcoverings

Fabric Flare offers fire resistant treatments for internal wallcoverings, linings and panel fabrics.

Regulations
Part 8 of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2000, deals with inhibiting the fire spread of internal wall coverings and linings. Approved Document B (for England and Wales) deals with the technical solutions to aid compliance with those regulations.

The UK regulations dealing with all internal linings, including panel fabrics and wall covering materials, are more specifically covered by the requirements of BS 476: Part 7: Class 1 and BS 476: Part 6: Class 0. BS 476: Part 7: 1997 describes the method of test to determine the classification of the surface spread of flame, and BS 476: Part 6: 1989 deals with the method of test for fire propagation, when the material shall have an index of performance (I) not exceeding 12 and a sub-index (i ) not exceeding 6, for Class 0 compliance.

Retardancy & Testing
The ‘Duraflam®-Duracote®’ System, for panel fabrics and internal linings, has been developed to inhibit both flame spread and fire propagation. Representative samples are fully adhered, or wrapped and stapled to an appropriate substrate, with the aim of replicating, as far as possible, the on-site installation. To assess compliance with BS 476: Part 7, samples of the test material are mounted at right angles to a gas-heated radiant panel. The rate of flame spread, and distance travelled, determines the Classification from Class 1 to Class 4. Although the BS 476: Part 6 test establishes a class for surfaces with better fire performance than Class 1, Class 0 is not identified, as such, in any British Standard test. Rather, it is a method of test to determine acceptable fire propagation indices and, thereby, exclude materials which ignite easily, have a high rate of heat release, or which many accelerate ‘flashover’ when involved in a fire.

Pan European Compliance

European Standards are being increasingly introduced as the measurement required for compliance across a growing raft of materials. BS EN 13501 will eventually replace both Class 1 and Class 0 specifications, but BS 476 will continue in use, in the UK, for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the aim is to facilitate an open market for building materials and products within the European Union, and the purpose of the Construction Products Directive is to replace existing national standards with a coherent body of European specifications. Fabric Flare is fully aware of the proposed changes in legislation and related standards. With a research and development programme designed to meet every requirement of passive fire protection, involving fabrics and combustible materials, the company continues to provide the means of verified compliance, in the UK and abroad.

Download the PDF for information about flame retardant treatments for wallcoverings.