Fire Behavior of PLEXIGLAS®
PLEXIGLAS® "The Non-Smoker" * PLEXIGLAS® burns almost without smoke.
Technical publications show that about 80 % of all fire victims die from smoke poisoning rather than the fire itself.
Thick fumes may block the view of fire escape signs, and invisible smoke gases may also be acutely toxic and lead to asphyxiation.
When it comes to the fire behavior of a given material, experts therefore look at more than just the building materials rating, i.e. its flammability.
The nature and quantity of smoke gases, the extent to which they obscure visibility, and their toxicity and corrosiveness may often be far more important criteria. Other vital aspects are flame spread, the dripping behavior according to the relevant standards and the extinguishing characteristics.
The fire behavior of PLEXIGLAS® is rated in Euroclass E, without burning droplets, according to DIN EN 13501 and in Class B2, normally flammable, without burning droplets, according to DIN 4102 Part 1.
PLEXIGLAS® burns almost without smoke according to DIN 4102 and is easy to extinguish.
The smoke gases produced by PLEXIGLAS® are not acutely toxic according to DIN 53436 and are non-corrosive according to DIN VDE 0482-267.
Roof surfaces glazed with PLEXIGLAS® open up by melting in the event of fire and allow smoke and heat to escape.
Answers to frequently asked questions on PLEXIGLAS® fire behaviormore
Smoke Gas Volume PLEXIGLAS® burns almost without smoke.
The smoke development of various materials employed in indoor and exterior applications is shown. The tests are performed according to DIN 4102 by the materials testing agency (Materialprüfungsamt) of North Rhine-Westphalia in Dortmund.The low level of light absorption or light attenuation exhibited by PLEXIGLAS® shows that virtually no obstacle to visibility is to be expected.Similar investigations in Austria and Switzerland confirm the low smoke levels it generates. In both countries, PLEXIGLAS® is classified as a material with low smoke formation. Tests performed according to DIN EN 11925 for rating in Euroclass E confirm the low smoke formation. Tradeshow companies, among others, demand materials that generate no smoke in the event of fire.
Smoke Gas Toxicity PLEXIGLAS® releases no acutely toxic gases.
This is a particularly important criterion for all applications in rooms frequented by the public.The certificates of inoffensiveness confirm that PLEXIGLAS® does not release any acutely toxic gases. The certificates were issued by EPA GmbH, an institute that analyzes the smoke gases of combustible materials and draws up expert reports and certificates on their classification.Apart from low smoke development, this property is a central requirement of almost all directives on tradeshow booth construction.
Smoke Gas Corrosiveness PLEXIGLAS® has no corrosive effect in the event of fire.
Fires are dangerous. The corrosive gas mixtures that may form just during a fire, but also during fire-fighting and for a long period afterwards, may be harmful to persons and damage buildings and equipment. Critical substances usually settle on surfaces and adhere to them or are constantly released into the air.The damage caused by these deposits and environmental hazards may be much more significant than the damage caused directly by fire, owing to the required renovation work. Tests performed according to DIN VDE 0482-267 and our own investigations clearly show that: The smoke gas and basic constituents of PLEXIGLAS® are neither corrosive, nor do they adhere permanently to surfaces.
Extinguishing Characteristics PLEXIGLAS® can be extinguished with water and all other extinguishing agents.
Materials burn in different ways, depending on their chemical composition or state. Materials are divided into four fire classes, ABCD, to assess the extinguishing requirements. Depending on the fire rating, only certain extinguishing agents may be used, e.g. water, foam, powder, CO2 etc..
PLEXIGLAS® is rated in fire class A, as a solid combustible material. However, PLEXIGLAS® forms no embers, which distinguishes it clearly from ember-forming materials like wood, for example. PLEXIGLAS® is therefore considered especially easy to extinguish.
All it normally takes to extinguish PLEXIGLAS® is a small quantity of water. However, all other extinguishing agents are equally suitable. That greatly facilitates fire-fighting.
Flame Spread PLEXIGLAS® is tested according to ASTM D 635-81 and other standards.
When materials start to burn, they may ignite neighboring objects. The speed with which fire spreads depends on a number of different factors. The flame spread of materials is determined by various test methods, depending on application.
Ignition Behavior / Building Materials Rating / Dripping Behavior PLEXIGLAS® is classed as B2, normally flammable, without burning droplets, according to DIN 4102.
The ignition behavior of a material is one criterion for its building materials rating. PLEXIGLAS® is rated B2, normally flammable, to DIN 4102, and is thus approved for a multitude of indoor and outdoor applications.In addition, PLEXIGLAS® is rated in Euroclass E according to DIN EN 13501.Apart from the ignition test in compliance with the given standards, tests performed under fire department supervision show that PLEXIGLAS® is not normally ignited by sources such as weld spatter or flying sparks from grinding operations, sparklers, fireworks or glowing charcoal.
The dripping behavior of burning or melting materials depends not merely on their properties, but also on the progression of a fire. The assessment of dripping behavior is one of the investigations used to determine the building materials rating. PLEXIGLAS® is rated in building materials class B2, without burning droplets, according to DIN 4102. This fire behavior is confirmed by Euroclass E to DIN EN 13501.