Basic principles of fire protection

The concept RF is described in Belgian and European standards to meet three criteria:

1. Stability (R):

Load-bearing elements have to resist fire and distortion over a defined period of time (60-120 minutes). During that period everything must remain stable (= retain calculated capacity = no collapse)

2. Gas and flameproof (E):

No transition of fumes to the other side of the fire protective (separating) element

3. Insulation (I):

The temperature may reach up to a max. 140 °C on the other side of the fire protection.

Applications and their standards 

  • A concrete or steel structure which must guarantee the stability during a fire needs to have a fire stability of e.g. 120 minutes
  • For fire compartmentalisation the three criteria (R - E - I) must be met. The separating element must fulfil its function as a "screen", while it also must remain gasproof and it must insulate. This way, the fire cannot travel to the other side of the compartment. This is not only the case for compartmentalisation, but also for suspended fireproof ceilings or walls, in all their variety.
  • For fireproof cladding around air ducts, or in independent (fireproof) air ducts, the term RO is valid rather than RF. A fire mustn’t spread through the channel, and must remain within a particular compartment due to the fire damper. The conduit through the wall is of course sealed with fireproof sealant (RF).


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