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Fire Protection

Why protect bearings?
We are all at risk from fire in buildings - which is why particular care is required to provide escape routes, fire compartments etc. from design stage onwards. Sealing fire doors against fire and smoke is now orthodox practice (although when our Sealmaster division introduced the first such products in the mid-Seventies, it was a novel idea). The temperatures generated during a fire can be intense, frequently exceeding 2000 degrees C and sufficient to undermine the structural integrity of steel and concrete elements.

By protecting bearings with Sealmaster FireFoam, the risks to fire fighters, onlookers and adjacent buildings of structural failure during a blaze are dramatically reduced.

FireFoam is a flexible intumescent sponge which is simply inserted around each bearing - requiring no fixing at all. FireFoam can be easily removed and replaced for inspection of the bearings. Up to 4 hours protection is available.

Most of our bearings can be protected with FireFoam (depending upon the area available around each bearing and the length of protection required).

FireFoam is also used to protect the fire integrity of compartments within buildings, for example, along expansion joints or between walls and ceilings. Our Technical Department will be happy to advise on the standard (and non-standard) options available.

The Method
FireFoam is a robust, flexible foam rubber type of material which is manufactured from a specially formulated intumescent compound. This is simply compressed and inserted around bearings (as well as in expansion joints etc). It is held in place by its own friction so can easily be removed and replaced for maintenance inspections. FireFoam is also damp and water resistant, making it particularly suited to conditions on site and in subsequent use.

During a fire, the heat activates the intumescent material, causing it to swell by generating a wet foam which rapidly charrs to a friable carbon puff, insulating the bearing and enabling it to continue to function during the blaze for up to 4 hours.

FireFoam has passed its BS 476 tests carried out by an independent proving house.

It has even passed an indicative BS 476 test having been completely immersed in water for a week. For further details of our test evidence, please contact our Technical Department.