In Australia, there are two major types of fire-rated wood used for construction:
* Intumescent Paint Sprayed Wood – this product is a non-structural element that is fixed to a structural frame, usually in the order of 12mm thick. The material expands when exposed to heat and thus provides a degree of resistance against fire. Only certain timbers may be treated with an intumescent paint spray, as per industrial guidelines.
* Heat Reflective Glass Clad – this product consists of either plywood or solid timber which has been clad on one side with a thin sheet of glass laminate. In effect, the glass acts as an insulator from direct flame contact and also protects from radiant heat by reflecting it away from the core of the timber.
Whichever type of fire-rated wood is chosen for a construction project, it is important to consult with an expert in order to ensure that the product is compliant with all relevant Australian standards and fire safety regulations. There are also various levels of fire resistance that can be achieved, depending on the specific application. The use of fire-rated wood can provide peace of mind for home and business owners alike, knowing that their property is better protected against the risk of a devastating fire. For more information on this topic, please visit the website of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB).
The ABCB is a not-for-profit organisation which represents the interests of building professionals, manufacturers and consumers across Australia. It has released a document entitled “Fire-Rated Wood Products”, which sets out guidelines for the use of fire-rated products in accordance with the relevant Australian standards.