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Many large structures – such as apartment blocks, high-rise offices and hotels – are built using a steel frame. This offers a cost-effective and stable construction option.

However, steel structure fire protection is an essential aspect to consider when designing or renovating such a project.

If steel is exposed to temperatures of 500°C and above, the structural integrity and stability is at risk, which could result in the building collapsing.

An effective fire safety strategy can reduce this risk, including the installation of fire protection to steel beams and columns.

Learn more about the benefits of ROCKWOOL products today – and how they can safeguard your project.

Why do we need steel structure fire protection?

As steel frames often form the ‘backbone’ of buildings with a high number of occupants, keeping them safe is a high priority. Structural steel fire protection can help ensure this.

Exposure to fire can seriously damage the frame and lead to building collapse. While it may not melt until reaching more than 1,300°C1, structural steel can start to soften at around 425°C, and lose half of its strength as it reaches 650°C2.

Frequently, building fires can reach temperatures exceeding 800°C. Fire protection for steel beams and columns reduces the risk of the frame weakening and slows down the spread of fire, protecting workers and residents. 

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Safeguarding steel buildings with effective insulation and other products is designed to save lives, rather than reduce energy consumption and associated costs. This is an invaluable addition to any construction.

The right amount and thickness of insulation will depend on the size and specifics of the building, its steel beams and frame.

To ensure the most effective and safe protection, our detailed fire resistance and application reports outline the best options for different builds. Contact your local office for further details. For more details on technical specifications, visit our ROCKSPEC Specification Toolkit.

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Installing our specifically developed and tested fire resistance solutions will significantly reduce the amount of risk that there is not enough time for occupants to leave the building, and allow the fire brigade to control the fire without the building collapsing.

Rob Kooiker

ROCKWOOL Group Product Manager

Case studies

The challenge

The Port of Antwerp in Belgium5 expanded its head office, with the aim of building a sustainable, safe and future-proofed construction.

The solution

Designed by Zaha Hadid, the quayside project included innovative and sustainable features, such as a borehole system for water cooling and heating. ROCKWOOL stone wool was also used to protect against fire risks by insulating the steel construction.

The results

Installing ROCKWOOL Conlit Steelprotect boards helped meet the highest A1 Fire Class rating, protecting employees and improving fire safety.

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The highly detailed cut-to-fall plan designed by ROCKWOOL helped us a great deal.

Gert Biebauw

Engineer Architect and project leader at Bureau Bouwtechniek

Sustainability and energy efficiency

The building industry produces a third of all waste, but ROCKWOOL insulation products offer a sustainable solution. They can be removed from a building when it is renovated or demolished, and recycled into new stone wool insulation products indefinitely7.

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Financial support

There may be financial support available for fire safe constructions and renovations in your country. Contact your local offices for more information.

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FAQs

FAQs

Is stone wool fire resilient?

Stone wool is fire resilient and can slow the spread of flames, which may make the difference between a fire in a building and a building on fire. This fire resilience is also vital for offering additional protection to steel frames.

 

What is fire blocking?

Fire blocking is the process of installing resilient materials within concealed spaces to slow or prevent the spread of fire for a period of time.

When will ROCKWOOL products melt?

Stone wool withstands temperatures exceeding 1,000°C. ROCKWOOL products will not release toxic smoke when they come into contact with fire either – and it is toxic smoke that causes almost half of all fire-related deaths8.