Pros & Cons of the Most Widely Used Fire-Resistant Materials
Due to the recent climate, areas are more prone to spread wildfires. In addition, some homeowners have seen their properties suffer irreparable damage. Architects and engineers also anticipate these problems when designing new homes. Selecting materials that can resist fires for their construction projects is now standard practice in today’s construction world. Below describes some of the most important fire-resistant materials that are widely used in fire-resistant constructions.
- Pros: Bricks are an excellent construction material for fireproof structures because they can withstand prolonged exposure to fire, with temperatures as high as 1300°C. You can also use firebricks that have a melting point of 2800°C.
- Cons: Depending on the building, brick construction can present structural limitations. In most cases, they are more expensive and require professional installation.
- Pros: Steel has wide application in different structure constructions like beams, columns, roofs, or ceilings, and since it melts at 1400°C, it can resist fire to a certain degree. Plus, steel is also highly recyclable and versatile.
- Cons: Although steel is a noncombustible material, it is not as fire-resistant as other materials. At specific temperatures, heat can overstress steel and melt it completely.
- Pros: Stones usually have a high capacity to resist fires, up to 1500°C before melting. Stones can also have different uses for construction projects and various places around the house or building.
- Cons: However, stones can break down into pieces if they suddenly go from hot to cool. Some types of stones, like granite, can crumple to sand due to excessive heat. Not to mention, most natural stones can be expensive and require skilled workers for installation.
- Pros: Aluminum can have different uses for small parts of the structure like window frames, door handles, rooftops, or curtain walling.
- Cons: Aluminum’s melting point is around 660°C, so it is not as fire-resistant as other materials. This is why its use is mostly in low fire risk constructions.
- Pros: Two aspects of concrete that make it an excellent fire-resistant material are that it does not have a melting point and is a poor conductor of heat. Depending on what aggregates concrete has, it can have different degrees of heat resistance. Not to mention, concrete is by far the most popular construction material.
- Cons: In the case of ordinary concrete, if you expose it directly to the fire, it can get dehydrated and lead to shrinking cracks that will require expensive fixing. It’s essential to work with concrete experts in fire risk areas to ensure the appropriate mix.
Even though there are plenty of options available to make a fire-resistant house, selecting the best, most sustainable, and environmentally-friendly materials is always recommended. That way, ensuring that costs stay low helps the environment and you stay within budget. Also, consider the location where you’re developing the project, the weather, and what materials suit better for the house style.
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Geraldine Orentas is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with outdoor and recreational fabrics retailer, Seattle Fabrics.