"The Non-Smoker"

Faq

About PLEXIGLAS®

PLEXIGLAS® burns almost without smoke.


Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions on the fire behavior of PLEXIGLAS®.

Characteristic properties of PLEXIGLAS® the "Non-Smoker"

No, as compared with many other plastics, and especially with several types of wood and other natural materials, PLEXIGLAS® develops almost no smoke. Here too, the type of combustion plays a crucial role - the more complete combustion is, the less smoke is generated. Tests similar to DIN 4102 and tests for fire rating in Euroclass E according to DIN 13501 confirm the low smoke level. The stringent test regulations of the Swiss fire police, for example, rate PLEXIGLAS® as a material with low smoke formation.

 

No, the smoke gases emitted by PLEXIGLAS® were examined in detail by a specialized institute. The combustion gases generated by PLEXIGLAS® are toxicologically inoffensive according to DIN 53436 and do not impede escape from fire.

 

No, the combustion gases generated by PLEXIGLAS® do no attack the surfaces of other materials. This positive behavior is confirmed by DIN VDE 0482-267.

 

PLEXIGLAS® burns with a bright flame, virtually without smoke. Under normal circumstances, combustion only gives rise to carbon dioxide and water. Due to the material's chemical composition (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen), no acutely toxic substances like phosgene, acid vapors and sulfur dioxide can form, even in a real fire. Since the material does not contain any halogens, no dioxins can form either.

 
  • Softening point: 102 to 115 degrees Celsius (°C) 

  • Combustion heat: 23 megajoules/kilogram (MJ/kg) 

  • Self-ignition temperature: 430 to 435 °C (acc. to DIN 51794, corresponds to ASTM D 1929) 

  • Ignition temperature: 300°C 

  • Decomposition range: from 170°C

The statement of the temperature ranges results from the two different methods used to manufacture PLEXIGLAS® sheet.Cast PLEXIGLAS® GS has a higher molecular weight than extruded PLEXIGLAS® XT.

 

Major characteristics for B1 rating may change in the course of time as a result of weathering. PLEXIGLAS® retains its good fire behavior throughout its entire service life.

 

No, fire departments can use conventional fire-fighting agents. PLEXIGLAS® can be extinguished with water or any other extinguishing agent. Small fires can usually be blown out! The material cannot auto-ignite once the fire has been completely extinguished.

 

No, burning PLEXIGLAS® gives rise to no burning sparks whatsoever.

 

PLEXIGLAS® is rated as normally flammable to DIN 4102 and DIN EN 13501, comparable with other materials rated B2, e.g. wood.

The ignition behavior depends among other things on the surface configuration (multi-skin sheet burns differently to solid sheet), its position and the source of ignition (match or gasoline can).

 

Like all thermoplastics, PLEXIGLAS® melts in the event of fire. But the melt flow depends very much on the development of the fire and the PLEXIGLAS® grade employed. Extruded PLEXIGLAS® forms a small amount of melt, cast PLEXIGLAS® virtually none. PLEXIGLAS® is rated B2, normally flammable, to DIN 4102, without burning droplets, and in Class E according to DIN EN 13501.

 

Not in every detail. Compared with extruded PLEXGLAS®, cast PLEXIGLAS® burns more slowly, for example. 

However, all grades usually form little smoke in the event of fire, and the smoke is toxicologically inoffensive. Moreover, they are rated B2, normally flammable, to DIN 4102, without burning droplets, and in Class E according to DIN EN 13501. Many plastics look very similar to PLEXIGLAS®, but behave quite differently in the event of fire. Please ask specifically for PLEXIGLAS® from Evonik Röhm GmbH.

 

No, the speed at which fire spreads depends on other factors, such as the geometry, density, ambient temperature, air supply etc.

 

In principle, yes. Depending on the colorant and filler content, colored grades generate a little more smoke, but according to our findings this is always toxicologically inoffensive.

The colored grades of PLEXIGLAS® are also rated B2, normally flammable, to DIN 4102and in Class E according to DIN EN 13501. That also applies to sanitary grades of PLEXIGLAS®

 

Compared with many other plastics, PLEXIGLAS® contains much less carbon, which forms soot upon burning. Even when little oxygen is available, PLEXIGLAS® generally burns completely and without soiling.

 

Given an adequate oxygen supply, PLEXIGLAS® only gives rise to carbon dioxide and water. 

 

Information on installation and use

PLEXIGLAS® is rated in Class B2, normally flammable, according to DIN 4102, Part 1, without burning droplets, and in Class E according to DIN EN 13501.

 

As a material rated B2 (normally flammable), PLEXIGLAS® can be used for many different applications that come under the new ordinance on places of assembly.
The general rule is:
Fire safety officers are able to decide that there are no reservations from a fire safety point of view, irrespective of the specified fire safety characteristics, e.g. certain material ratings. Decision-makers in the field of fire safety often have reservations about the consequences of smoke and combustion gases.

The fire behavior of PLEXIGLAS® - practically no smoke, no acutely toxic smoke gases, no corrosive smoke gas constituents - is suitable for dispelling many reservations about fire safety. Ask for our information folder or send us a mail at info@plexiglas.de.

 

PLEXIGLAS® starts to melt at about 200 °C, so that roofs made from PLEXIGLAS® can function as natural openings for smoke and heat to dissipate in the event of fire.

 

Yes, PLEXIGLAS® complies with the basic combustibility requirements for construction materials in class B2 to DIN 4102 and Class E to DIN EN 13501. Its fire behavior is confirmed by independent test institutes.

 
  • no smoke formation

  • no toxic smoke gases 

  • flame-retarded (B1)

  • normally flammable (B2) - possible under certain circumstances, e.g. if edges are covered with edge strips

  • normally flammable (B2) - possible under certain circumstances, e.g. if building inspectorate approves

 

This term stems from the time when "soft" roofs made of straw or thatch were frequent, and could be set on fire by flying sparks (war, surface fire). The demand for "hard roofing" has remained the main roofing requirement of building regulations until the present day. On their own, materials rated B2 and B1 do not generally meet the requirements for hard roofing and are classed as soft roofing.

 

PLEXIGLAS® can be extinguished by means of sprinklers or any other extinguishing agent. The choice of extinguishing agent depends less on the material than the fire development. The use of PLEXIGLAS® does not automatically call for sprinklers or similar equipment. That depends on other legal regulations.

 

In principle, fire safety officers at building authorities or other official agencies are able to decide that there are no reservations from a fire safety point of view, irrespective of the specified fire safety characteristics, e.g. certain material ratings. Decision-makers in the field of fire safety often have reservations about the consequences of smoke and combustion gases.

The fire behavior of PLEXIGLAS® - practically no smoke according to DIN 4102, no acutely toxic smoke gases according to DIN 53436, no corrosive smoke gas constituents according to DIN VDE 0482-267 - is suitable for dispelling many reservations about fire safety. Ask for our information folders. We will be pleased to help you design fire protection strategies.

 

We constantly modify our products in response to the requirements of international markets. The requirements furthermore depend on the manifold applications for PLEXIGLAS®. For example, PLEXIGLAS® meets the requirements made virtually all over the world for noise barriers. The aviation and automotive industries make completely different demands on the fire behavior of materials. Here too, PLEXIGLAS® is successfully employed for many different applications.

 

Apart from our customers, we mainly inform fire experts, fire departments, building inspectorates and building authorities about the fire behavior of PLEXIGLAS®

 

General indications on the subject "fire"

According to various technical publications, most victims of fires (about 80%) die from asphyxiation or from breathing in hot, toxic gases. Burns and other physical injuries directly caused by fire are responsible for fewer deaths (20%).

 

Smoke formation is not an examination criteria for B1 rating. Our own tests and those performed by a materials testing institute show that some B1 materials may generate large amounts of smoke in the event of fire.

 

The toxicity of smoke gases is not an examination criteria for B1 rating. However, toxicological tests on materials have shown that some materials rated B1 do release acutely toxic gases in the event of fire.

 

The corrosiveness of smoke gases is not determined during tests for the B1 rating. However, examinations on the corrosiveness of materials have shown that some materials rated B1 may develop corrosive gases in the event of fire.

 

First of all, it is heated by a source of ignition until it starts to burn. The flames spread across its surface. The burning material heats up its environment and may thereby ignite other materials. Many materials additionally release toxic combustion gases and/or copious amounts of smoke.

 
  • shape and mass

  • type of composite 

  • spatial configuration

  • type, intensity and length of exposure to source of ignition, ventilation

 

That depends on the individual plastic. Plastics like polyester, polycarbonate, plasticized and rigid PVC, polystyrene, polyolefin etc. sometimes form much greater quantities of smoke during combustion. Some of them may generate dangerous combustion gases.