Real Fire Case Studies

The following fire case studies involve insurance industry approved Kingspan FIREsafe® insulated panel systems

Whilst large scale fire testing provides a very good indication of how products will actually perform, this section explores how closely insulated panel systems have lived up to their test results when exposed to real fires.

Over the last 10-15 years, Kingspan has collated a comprehensive collection of fire case study information on major fires in a wide range of buildings

All case studies are independently investigated and have only been published where we have permission


Wharfedale Hospital Real Fire Case Study BR135 BS8414

Wharfedale Hospital, UK

The fire was discovered by on-site security staff and a call was made to the fire service who brought the fire under control within 40 minutes. The heat generated by the fire was significant, as evidenced by cracking of the concrete floor above the fire and the distortion of steel beams that had been protected by a fire resisting intumescent coating.
The fire service found light smoke but no fire spread on the upper floors of the building. They also reported that although the joint between the floor and first floor walls had not been fire stopped there was no fire spread within the PIR core material. Photograph 2 shows where the flame damaged outer skin of the bottom panel has been lifted to inspect the slight charring of PIR core beneath.

Read more on page 13

Real Fire Case Studies Conclusions - Wharfedale  Hospital 
In spite of a very severe fire at ground level (sufficient to damage the concrete floors and distort fire protected steel beams) the cores of the insulated panels:  did not ignite; and  did not promote fire spread.

Audi Dealership, Belgium 1

Audi Dealership, Belgium

The fire occurred in the external compound of a large Audi dealership - a deliberate act of arson.The car in the foreground is understood to be an Audi Q3 with other cars being of at least a similar make and model. Photograph 2 shows a sample of the PIR core material removed from the ECOsafe PIR core panel at the location of predicted peak incident radiative heat flux of 31.8kW/m2 . The photograph indicates that the PIR core had pyrolysed to a carbon char to a depth of about 40mm at this location. At locations remote from the area of peak incident radiative heat flux, the charring of the PIR core was significantly reduced, demonstrating that combustion had not been propagated by the PIR core material. The inside of the workshop showed no evidence of fire penetration in an area adjacent to the external fire attack

Read more on page 25 

Real Fire Case Studies Conclusions - Audi Dealership, Belgium 
The PIR cored sandwich panels were subject to a fire likely to have lasted at least 15 minutes from ignition.

  • It is likely that the cladding will have been subjected to peak incident radiative heat flux of at least 31.8kW/m2 for a period of at least 10 minutes.

  • The sandwich panels exposed to these conditions sustained damage in terms of delamination of the exposed steel skin of the panels away from the PIR core, removal of the paint coating and pyrolysis of the PIR core material to a depth of approximately 40mm.

  • ​There was no evidence of fire propagation within the panels.

Kingspan Insulated Panel Systems Fire testing and Performance Guide 2017 brochure Image

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