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How do Fire Collars Work ?

According to The National Construction Code, all service penetrations in a building must be sealed with passive fire protection systems.
Fire collars are a popular option to seal pipe penetrations through fire walls, floors and ceilings.

What are fire collars and what are they made of?

Fire collars are designed to maintain the integrity and the fire resistance level of a building element where building service penetrations pass through. They stop heat, smoke, fire and gas moving between compartments of a building.
They can be made of stainless steel, mild steel or PVC/plastic (depending on application) and contain an inner lining of intumescent material that expands when exposed to heat.

How does it work? 

Promat fire resistant collars crush plastic pipes during exposure to fire.
In the event of a fire, the plastic pipe will start to melt. In the case of uPVC pipes, this occurs at a temperature of approximately 70°C. Once the pipe starts to deform, the intumescent material in the Promat fire collar expands, closing off the plastic pipe.
This intumescent material forms an insulating barrier that reduces heat transfer between compartments and closes off any gaps to stop the spread of smoke, fire and gas.

Below is a video of a fire test.   Take note of how different types of plastic pipes melt at different times.   This reinforces the need for individual fire tests for each type of plastic pipe.   No two plastic pipe types burn at the same rate.   But how do fire collars work?  If you’re still not sure, watch the video below

When are fire collars required? 

Fire collars are designed to reinstate the integrity and insulating rating of the fire resistant element which has been penetrated by a building service such as plastic pipes, combustible insulation, cables or fibre optic services pass. They are usually required when looking at fire sealing of pipe penetrations through fire rated walls, floors or ceilings.

What are they used for

Ideal for combustible pipework made of plastics like Polyethylene PE, Polyvinyl chloride PVC, polypropylene PP, acoustic plastic pipes, cable groups, lagged copper and plenty more.

Why use Promat fire collars

PROMASEAL® Fire Collars are manufactured using PROMASEAL® Grafitex intumescent technology. Designed to protect pipe and service penetrations in walls, floors and ceilings they offer a lot of benefits if used and installed properly:

  • Cost-effective solution
  • Easy installation on new buildings as well as retrofitting option
  • Available in a wide range of sizes; a fire collar for every situation
  • Cast in and Retrofit options
  • Floor waste and stack solutions
  • Approvals for a large variety of plastic types and sizes
  • Protect up to 315mm diameter pipes
  • Large variety of substrates approved including concrete, F.R plasterboard, Speedpanel and Hebel
  • Approvals for services other than plumbing pipes available

They are suitable for installation in the various types of floors, walls and ceilings in which they have been tested, however, they are not suited for all applications and it’s important to consider the environment and situation into which it is being installed to ensure they are the correct passive fire protection product for the correct application.

What you need to consider to select the right system based on application

  • Type of pipe (plastic PVC, Steel, Copper?)
  • What is the required FRL?
  • Substrate: fire rated wall, ceiling or floor
  • Pipe movement or vibration expected

If you are unsure what is the best fire stopping option for your project contact the Progressive Materials team of experts. We are the technical consultants for Promat products in Western Australia and are experts in passive fire protection. 

What are the different types of fire collars?

There are different types for different applications:

  • the cast in fire collars 
  • and retrofit fire collars

Promat’s range of fire collars for all types of building services including; plastic pipes, electrical cables, lagged copper pipes, copper pair coils and other general building services.

Retrofit fire collars are used around pipes and service after the services penetrations have been installed into the building. They are wrapped around the already installed pipes and it is essential that the fire collar size matches the pipe size to completely encase the part of the pipe that passes through the wall/floor/ceiling.
Promat retrofit fire collars are available in a range of sizes to suit plastic pipes up to 315mm outside diameter.

Promat’s range of cast in fire collars allow for accurate set out of pipe work and are more cost-effective than retrofit collars when a large number are required.
They are fitted on permanent formwork, prior to pouring concrete. Available in various models, the type used depends on the application and NCC requirements of the building.

As the exclusive technical consultants for Promat products in Western Australia, we are always working closely with Promat’s technical team to provide up to date information on Promat’s rigorous testing program that seeks to provide new applications for their range of fire collars systems. Contact our team of experts for technical updates and the latest test results.

Promat Fire Collar range:

PROMASEAL®  Conduit Collars
They are typically used for retrofitting around small plastic conduit pipes. Available in one size (32mm), they can be used on pipes ranging from 16mm to 32mm in diameter without modification.

PROMASEAL® FWR
Surface-mounted collars (retrofit application), they are used for floor waste systems. Available in one standard size (100mm), the fire collar can be used with 100mm, 80mm and 50mm uPVC pipes, as well as a range of other plastic pipes.  

PROMASEAL® CIL
These are cast-in fire collars and are fixed to formwork prior to pouring of concrete slabs. Available in 5 sizes, the fire collar can be used on uPVC, HDPE, Raupiano and other pipes ranging from 40mm to 100mm in diameter but is not to be used in floor wastes.

PROMASEAL® CIH
Cast-in collars designed to accommodate the plastic pipe fitting within the soffit of the floor and thus help to save space. Available in 3 sizes, they can be used on small pipes  (up to 65mm), pipes ranging between 65mm and 100mm in diameter and large pipes of a nominal 150mm. These cannot be used in floor wastes.

PROMASEAL® FC / Retrofit Collar
These are multi-purpose retrofit collars with a square base. They can be used with concrete slabs, masonry and lightweight walls and lined ceilings. They are available in different sizes ranging from 40mm to 300mm.

PROMASEAL® FCS / Socket Collar
Circular base retrofit collars designed to be fitted to existing pipe work that passes through floor slabs. They are available in 4 sizes ranging from 40mm to 100mm.

PROMASTOP® UC Unicollar®
New generation of fire collars that can be cut and snapped in modules of 15mm to fit multiple pipe sizes and types. Supplied in individual boxes with 2250mm length of collar (150 segments) and including fixing accessories.

PROMASEAL® FCW Wall Collar
Retrofit collars specifically designed for wall penetrations, they require only 1 collar to be installed in the cavity of the wall. Available in 5 different sizes to suit pipes from 40mm to 150mm.

PROMASEAL® Fire Resistant Services Seal Collar
Cast-in collars specifically designed for fire sealing of service penetrations, they have been approved for various combustible service penetrations including electrical cables, PVC pipes, copper pair coils. Available in one standard size (10mm), services must be backfilled with PROMASEAL® Mortar after the installation. 

PROMASEAL® Floor Waste Collar (PROMASEAL® FCW and PROMASEAL® FWC High Top)
Cast-in collars specifically designed for floor wastes, they provide fire protection where floor wastes penetrate wet areas. They are available in various models and their applications depend on the certification required for the building. They can be used for 100mm uPVC and HDPE pipes with a minimum slab depth requirement of 150mm.
PROMASEAL® Floor Waste Cast-in Collars are available in Low and High versions.

How to install fire collars

First of all, to be efficient and ensure compliance with Australian Standard, they are to be used and installed in the same environment and conditions that they have been tested. 

What are the Australian standards related to fire protection systems? 

According to the NCC (National Construction Code), the installation of a service that penetrates a building element (excluding external wall and roof) is required to have a Fire Resistance Level (FRL) so that the integrity of the fire rated element being penetrated is maintained.
The FRL can be achieved using passive fire protection systems. Each passive fire protection product requires specific fire testing to establish the Fire Resistance Level that can be achieved.
The installation of fire collars is compliant only if carried out in accordance to the manufacturer installation and testing requirements.

Each Promat product has been tested with different applications, types and sizes of pipes and building services and they can only be used and installed the same way they have been tested for.
Read our blog ‘Understanding fire penetrations and the application of C3.15’ for more information.

Retrofit fire collars installation
To be installed on existing pipe work, the fire collar is unclipped, placed around the pipe, reclipped and pushed tight to the substrate.

Cast-in fire collars installation
To be fixed to the formwork prior to pouring of concrete floor slabs. Cast-in fire collars allow for accurate set out of pipe work and are more cost-effective than retrofit fire collars when a large number are required.  

Every Promat Fire Collar product has specific installation instructions depending on the application (wall, floor, ceilings), you can download the pdf file from each product page on the fire collars section of the website. Our technical consultants offer training sessions for Architects, Engineers, Certifiers, Contractors on how to correctly specify, install, inspect and maintain our wide range of systems including fire collars. You can register your interest by completing the form at the end of the article.

FAQ

Can they be painted?

A: Yes. A water-based paint is recommended. 

Why are they required on both sides of a fire rated wall and only one side of a floor slab?

A: Fire collars are required on both sides of a wall for 2 critical reasons.  Firstly when testing fire collars in a wall configuration, the manufacturer sets up the test with one collar on each side of the wall (excluding the PROMASEAL FCW Collar) during a fire test.  Often both collars activate during a fire test.  On-site the installer is required to install the fire collar in the same way it was tested- that being with one collar on each side of the wall.  The other critical reason being that fire walls often provide fire protection from a fire in both directions.  The use of collars on each side protects against 2 potential fire sources.

 


14 Oct 2021

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