If you’re interested in architecture or construction, it’s important to know how building materials react to fire. Fire safety is a key tenant of building design, and it’s something every future architect or construction manager needs to learn thoroughly. If you’re pursuing either of these careers or interested in building in general, keep reading to learn which building materials are the most fire resistant.
Certain types of stone have some of the highest heat resistance of any building materials on the market. Concrete is one of the most heat-resistant materials, which makes it ideal for creating safe modern buildings. Brick is another example of a fire-resistant material. However, the mortar that holds bricks together can be less effective. In general, however, these stone materials can help slow the spread of fire in an emergency, allowing more time for occupants to escape.
Gypsum is a common housing and commercial building material. Gypsum board, or drywall, contains chemically treated materials that produce steam when they contact water. This material also uses glass fibers, which are heat-resistant materials. Combine gypsum’s makeup with its chemical effectiveness, and you get a very fire-resistant material.
Traditional glass doesn’t boast much fire resistance, as it can shatter at around 250 degrees Fahrenheit. However, tempered glass and ceramic glass are chemically treated to be stronger against flames. Fire windows and some doors utilize tempered glass and ceramic glass due to their elevated levels of heat resistance. Contractors install these heat-resistant windows and doors in strategic locations around buildings to contain fires that break out in specific areas.
Metals such as steel are a popular choice for construction thanks to their long lifespans and fire-resistant qualities. However, even metal can start to melt and warp at hot-enough temperatures. Therefore, interior and exterior fires can still pose a threat to buildings with metal frames. In many cases, building contractors reinforce metal frames with fire-retardant safety materials.
Fire-Resistant Safety Materials
There are a variety of fire-resistant chemicals and products professional contractors can use in buildings. Manufacturers often utilize gypsum to create fire-resistant boards to line steel, wood, and other structures. Furthermore, as combustible as wooden materials are, they can become more fire-resistant with the help of intumescent paints.
Once you know which building materials are the most fire resistant, you can incorporate them into your architectural designs and construction for safer structures. Choose your construction substances wisely, and always consider fire risks in your designs.