The possibility of using coatings for surfaces that have a satisfactory reaction to fire is increasingly required for both industrial and civil projects. Innovative museum creations capable of welcoming thousands of visitors also use paints that offer good fire resistance.
This is therefore a topic that must be managed immediately from the correct point of view, or rather, with the appropriate terminology to identify the real properties of the materials.
In fact, we speak of fire resistance only when structural elements are involved, for which the maintenance of functionality must be guaranteed for as long as possible during fire.
The reaction to fire behavior of a surface, on the other hand, refers to the methods of propagation of a fire, the latter must be contained as much as possible to give the people time to safely escape.
The Italian and European legislation on “reaction to fire”
In Italy, the classification of materials to reaction to fire is historically regulated by D.M. of 26/06/84 and subsequent amendments and adjustments.
At European level, the technical standard EN 13501-1 harmonises the relevant legislation by introducing Euroclasses identified with a letter of the alphabet. In fact, a direct comparison between new Euroclasses and the current Italian legislation is not possible as the criteria and test methods are different. The European classification system focuses on the evaluation of heat release as a function of time, considering the dripping and the smoke development (in terms of opacity and not toxicity) as accessory parameters. The national system evaluates the reaction to fire mainly with the measurement of ignitability, propagation of the flame front on the surface (speed / extension), and dripping.
It may happen that a floor – formally a “construction product” is installed in activities governed by specific technical fire prevention provisions referring to the European classification system. For these cases, reference is made to the D.M. 15/03/2005 in which the Italian classes are correlated with the European ones according to the requirements of the specific purposes of employment.
art.2: where non-combustible products are required (class 0), class A1fl products are used
art.4: for the floors of atriums, corridors, hallways, stairs, ramps, passages and escape routes, in place of class 1 products, and within the limits established for them by the specific fire prevention provisions, class products are used A2FL-s1 or BFL-s1.
art.5: in all other types of environment see table 1 of the Decree in question.
|Classe Italiana||Classe Europea|
|I||Classe 1||(A2FL-s1), (A2FL-s2), (BFL-s1), (BFL-s2), (CFL-s1)|
|II||Classe 2||(CFL-s2), (DFL-s1)|
Fire reaction of paints and surface coatings
Going deeper we see that the Italian legislation provides for the following exception, ref. Ministerial Decree 26/06/84 note Annex A 2.1 in the case of an incombustible substrate, any painting with a maximum thickness of 0.6 mm (600 m), even obtained in several coats, is allowed and considered irrelevant for the purposes of reaction to fire.
Although subsequent amendments to the decree have superseded this indication, in practice, laboratories have continued to refer to it. At the same time, speaking of materials subject to DoP, we can instead refer to the definitions of Annex 1 to Ministerial Decree 25/10/07, where the characteristics that a layer must have to be considered non-substantial are specified: a material that does not constitute a significant part of a non-homogeneous product (i.e. that does not have uniform density and composition at all levels). A coating with mass per unit area <1.0 kg / m2 or thickness <1.0 mm is considered a non-substantial component
SIVIT’s proposals for products with good reaction to fire
With reference to the regulatory framework described above, SIVIT offers numerous products and certificates in fire reaction class BFL-s1
|PRODOTTO / CICLO||CLASSE|
|Fluidepox antifiamma + Paviplast antifiamma||BFL-s1|
|Massetto epossidico antifiamma||BFL-s1|
|Ecopaviplast W + Paviwater||BFL-s1|
The application of products in order to provide fire reaction performance must always require approval by the fire prevention manager and the fire brigade.
Any proposed application cycle must be applied by operating in optimal conditions and following the instructions given in the Sivit information documentation.