To compare the fire performance of different membranes, we have looked at the four main categories of tensile membrane materials. Within these tensile membrane categories, there is a huge range of different products from many manufacturers. Listed in the table below are some example results that show a typical material fire-testing performance for each main tensile membrane type. This can be used to determine appropriate material types for your projects.
The various membranes MakMax Australia works with will almost always have been subjected to Australian and International fire testing standards by the manufacturer. As a general guide, PTFE coated glass fibre membranes provide the best fire hazard properties, followed by ETFE foil, PVC polyester fabrics and finally woven HDPE shade cloth.
This is a guide only and within each product category there will be a range of different results and performance outcomes.
|Example Brand||Gale Pacific Commercial Heavy 430||Mehler FR900N||AGC Fluon 200micron||Chukoh FGT600|
|Expected Lifespan||10+ years||20+ years||40+ years||50+ years|
|Fire Performance Indices|
|Duration of Sustained Flaming¹||N/A||N/A||N/A||0|
|Spread of Flame Index³:||8||7||0||0|
|Heat Evolved Index³:||5||1||0||0|
|Smoke Developed Index³:||7||8||0-1||0-1|
|Observations||Visible smoke, melting, flaming debris.||Visible smoke and melting. Will not propagate flame spread.||Self-expiring drops (will melt away from fire source but does not drip). Self extinguishing immediately when fire source is gone.||Will not propagate flame spread.|
|Recommendation||Usually not suitable for fire escape routes or adjoining buildings.||May be suitable for connecting to existing buildings, but usually not suitable for Type-A constructions or fire escape routes.||Often accepted for Type-A construction with performance solution from fire engineer, sometimes sprinklered and usually as an externally facing element.||Usually accepted for Type-A construction with a performance solution from a fire engineer.|
|¹ AS 1530.1 Methods for Fire Tests on Building Materials, Components and Structures. Part 1: Combustibility test for materials.
² AS 1530.2 Methods for Fire Tests on Building Materials, Components and Structures. Part 2: Test for Flammability of Materials.
³ AS 1530.2 Methods for Fire Tests on Building Materials, Components and Structures Part 3: Simultaneous Determination of Ignitability, Flame Propagation, Heat Release and Smoke Release.
A Note on Non-Combustibility for PTFE fabrics
- Pre-finished metal sheeting having a combustible surface finish not exceeding 1 mm thickness and where the Spread-of-Flame Index of the product is not greater than 0.
- Bonded laminated materials where;
- each lamina, including any core, is non-combustible; and
- each adhesive layer does not exceed 1 mm in thickness and the total thickness of the adhesive layers does not exceed 2 mm; and
- the Spread-of-Flame Index and the Smoke-Developed Index of the bonded laminated material as a whole do not exceed 0 and 3 respectively; and when located externally, are fixed in accordance with C2D15.