The Fire Classification of good Cladding Materials in Buildings that perform very well in the event of a fire are mainly A1, A2 and B types as per National Building Regulations. Construction Cladding Materials could be marked in any of the four categories when put through a fire test namely-
Combustible materials: Combustible materials are materials that can catch fire immediately, they release immense heat and the flames can spread very rapidly .e.g. Wood dust
Non Combustible Materials-These materials do not burn nor do they release any flammable vapors.eg Stone, Terracotta
Ignition Resistant Materials-These materials may catch fire but the flame spread is very minimum or slow. These materials are better than combustible materials but not as good as non-combustible materials. E.g., some types of wood.
Fire Resistant Materials – These are non-flammable materials that continue to perform their functions in the event of a fire giving enough evacuation time to the occupants.eg. Gypsum Wall Board, Brick, Concrete
In an event of a fire a Flashover could happen in which the heat in an area can reach a point which high enough to ignite all the combustible materials simultaneously.
According to these properties the classifications of Building Materials are –
A1- All Non-Combustible materials
A2- Materials having Limited Combustion with no Flashover.
B- No Flashover materials.
The properties of individual building materials help us ensure good fire safety standards of the buildings.