FLAME RETARDANT STANDARDS
Shrink Wrap Flame Retardant Standards
Being able to establish whether building materials are flammable is a key area of consideration during construction. In the EU and all over, flammability tests from country to country. This guide will help you understand flame retardant certifications in the UK and how this will impact the shrink wrapping of your building or scaffold.
Most flammability tests are carried out on textiles and items used in the structure of buildings such as cladding and insulation. In the wake of Grenfell, fire standards have become an ever more important topic for contractors when choosing what materials are used throughout a project.
Right now in construction, fire safety is paramount and all exterior scaffold sheeting should be flame retardant. Amazingly, the vast majority of conventional sheeting like monarflex and debris netting are not flame retardant!
There are flame retardant options but they actually end up costing more than shrink wrap, an inferior product for a higher price! This is why shrink wrap sheeting is now really over taking conventional sheeting in more ways than just cost and durability.
Remember, fire retardant does not mean fire proof. Not even steel is fire proof. The idea is that flame retardant materials help to contain and decrease the spread of fire for as long as possible before the fire service can extinguish a potential fire, hopefully.
Flame Retardant Shrink Wrap
We have a choice of flame retardant products that can meet any requirements from any size contractor. These are all flame tested by analysing flammability of their construction grade shrink wrap elements. Once a material has successfully gone through any of these tests, it is deemed to be flame retardant certified. The real difference between the above standards is merely how often it is tested, with EN and LPS having to be re tested annually. The most well known standards in the UK and Europe are:
DIN 4102 - B1
This is the German standard which is the most commonly used material throughout Europe, conforming to British fire standard: B1. Our manufacturer ships hundreds of tonnes of DIN shrink wrap throughout Europe each month.
This product welds incredibly strong and since we have began using it have had zero problems on site and rarely return for repairs, even after a long period of time. Shrink wrap welds are really the most important part of the process; if the welds fail, the whole shrink wrap encapsulation is compromised which can result in frequent damage.
EN 13501 - B1, s1, d0
EN rated materials are very popular in the UK, achieving the slightly hire version of the fire standard. Most shrink wrap companies in the UK use this standard.
LPS is the highest standard in the UK, but comes at a higher price. In our experience not many LPS rated shrink films are the best quality, despite it achieving the LPS standard. There is unfortunately a loss of weld strength and longevity.
Unfortunately fire standards still remain a pretty grey area in construction. Ultimately, the choice of which flame retardant material is up to the main contractor on site in line with their own best practices guide. Whatever the decision, every one of our industrial shrink wrap films are flame retardant.
Choice and preference should determine what to go for, but the German DIN and the European EN method of testing produce the strongest and best flame retardant materials.