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    ​Product review: high-performing insulation products in Australia that are also fire resistant

    Geraldine Chua

    In our last article, we looked at the role product manufacturers play in ensuring the built landscape is fire safe, with a specific focus on insulation, a product that has gained a troubled reputation of being 'flammable'.

    Here, we examine five insulation products in Australia that have gone above and beyond Building Code of Australia (BCA) mandates, and are tested and proven to be fire resistant and safe. 

    Kingspan Kooltherm K10 Soffit Insulation Board

    Kooltherm K10 is a rigid thermoset floor and ceiling insulation board with specialised facings for concrete soffits. Produced with a fibre-free insulation core, it provides very low thermal conductivity which reduces the required insulation thickness by about 50 per cent when compared to the most common insulation materials currently used in Australia. As a thermoset material, it hardens and chars in fire situations, giving off very little smoke.

    • Group 1 BCA fire classification
    • Low spread of flame potential
    • Produces only 600kW maximum heat release rate when tested in accordance with AS ISO 9705, and does not reach flashover

    Pink Batts by Fletcher Insulation

    Made from lightweight, flexible and resilient glasswool, Pink Batts contributes to both the thermal and acoustic comfort of building occupants. It offers a range of sizes and R-values, with the insulation stiffened for wall applications so it fits snugly between standard spacing wall studs without sagging. Pink Batts insulation has a maximum service temperature of 340°C.

    • Non-combustible as tested by CSIRO in accordance with AS1430 Part 1, meeting deemed to satisfy provisions of the BCA
    • Tested 0 for the Ignitability, Spread of Flame and Heat Evolved indexes under AS1530.3
    • Tested 0-1 for the Smoke Developed index under AS1530.3
    • CodeMark certified

    GreenStuf Thermal Insulation Underfloor Rolls from Autex

    GreenStuf Underfloor Insulation is a 100 per cent thermally bonded polyester thermal insulation that is easy to install, and which can be fully recycled. Available in a range of thermal performance ratings, from R1.5 to R4.0, it is safe to handle and comes as rolls pre-cut to fit standard exposed timber joist floors, easily installed by stapling into place between the joists. It is marketed as a non-flammable, self-extinguishing product.

    • Group 1 classification – no flashover point reached during length of 20 minute AS ISO 9705 test
    • Smoke growth rate of less than 100, meaning it can be installed in buildings with no sprinkler system
    • Tested 0 for the Ignitability, Spread of Flame and Heat Evolved indexes under AS1530.3
    • Tested 3 for the Smoke Developed index under AS1530.3

    CSR Bradford Gold Ceiling Batts

    Manufactured from the controlled felting of glasswool bonded with a thermosetting resin, the batts are designed to keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer, reducing energy bills by up to 40 per cent. It is available in a range of R-values – R2.5 to R7.0 (the only ceiling batt in Australia with R7.0) – to suit differing requirements. It is also a certified non-combustible product, and Bradford claims that “the product will not burn and can actually hinder the spread of flame”. It has a maximum service temperature of 350°C.

    • Non-combustible when tested to AS 1530.1
    • Tested 0 for Ignitability, Spread of Flame, Smoke Developed and Heat Evolved indexes under AS1530.3
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