What is the fire resistance of polycarbonate sheet?

Polycarbonate sheets are widely used for building roofs, canopies roofs, swimming pool enclosure rood, and industrial daylight. When it comes to construction buildings, flame resistance is an important factor.

Is polycarbonate roof sheet fireproof?

The answer is that polycarbonate sheet is fame resistant and it can self-extinguishing when the fire source is removed. It won’t produce any toxic gas when burning. When we ignite the polycarbonate sheets, they will burn and partially melt. But when the fire source is removed, the flame of polycarbonate will be extinguished. The melt dripping from the sheet won’t ignite other combustible substances. Although the polycarbonate sheet is fire resistant but is not impossible to be ignited. It can obviously delay the speed of flame spread compared to other combustible materials. Besides, smoke brings huge damage in fire accidents but polycarbonate will produce very little smoke in the fire. So polycarbonate panels are safe construction material.

Youtube link: Fireproof Test of Polycarbonate Sheet

What the class of polycarbonate sheet flame resistance?

There are several flammability classes and tests for construction material. Some test the time it takes for the material to self-extinguish. Other tests will determine the flame spread and/or the burn rate. Separate from the flame, there is another factor to consider that material has to pass heat release, smoke density, and smoke toxicity tests related to burning material.

European Fireproof Resistance Standard – EN13501-1

European class standard is familiar and accepted for all over world. The class catagory is then assigned as follows:

  • Class F – Easily flammable
  • Class E – Small flame test duration of 15 seconds with less than 15 cm flame spread
  • Class D – Small flame test duration of 30 seconds with less than 15 cm flame spread and a heat release of 750 watts per second or less
  • Class C – The heat release from a single burning item is less than 250 watts per second.
  • Class B – The heat release from a single burning item is less than 120 watts per second.
  • Class A2 – The material passes a no combustibility test in a furnace of 750 degrees C or a calorific potential test, which is performed by burning a small amount of the material in pure oxygen inside a bomb calorimeter.
  • Class A1 – The material passes both a non-combustibility test and a calorific potential test.

Roughly overview: class A1, A2, and B class are hard to ignite while C, D, E, and F class is easy to ignite. Most polycarbonate sheets reach the B1 class fire resistance without any special additives- combustible material with very limited contribution to fire.

UL Rate Building Material

UL class standard is from America. It tests material against existing codes and standards. Fire smoke and flammability testing are one of its many diagnostic services.

There are six different flammability ratings under UL 94: 5VA, 5VB, V-0, V-1, V-2, and HB.

  • A V-2 (vertical burn) rating indicates the burning will stop within 60 seconds after two applications from an ignition source of 10 seconds each. A flaming drip of material is allowed.
  • A V-1 rating is similar to the V-2 rating with the exception that no flaming drip of material is allowed.
  • A V-0 rating indicates the material stops burning much faster than V-2 or V-1, stopping after 10 seconds while also not allowing any flaming drips of material.
  • A 5VB surface burn rating means the material was exposed to an ignition source for 5 seconds, 5 times, and stopped burning within 60 seconds. The material may have burned through.
  • A 5VA rating is the highest material rating or most flame retardant. It has the same parameters as the 5VB test, but no burn-through.

The common UNQ polycarbonate sheet is V-2 fire resistance. Polycarbonate has a wide service temperature, ranging from -40 to +120℃. Adding flame resistance material polycarbonate, the fireproof is V-0 level. If you have requirements about fire level, contact us to get V-0 polycarbonate roof panels.

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