Fire Retardant MDF

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Flame retardant MDF (or FR MDF) is manufactured according to EN Euro class B and class C (fire retardant standards) and made for internal use in public areas like hotel lobbies, theatres, and institutional buildings that require fire retardant materials as specified by Building Regulations. For all intents and purposes, FR MDF exhibits the same qualities as standard MDF regarding machinability and cutting. However, a pink/light red dye is used during manufacture for easy identification.

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What Is Fire Rated MDF? 

Fire-rated MDF, or Flame Retardant Board, is a specially engineered building material designed to resist the spread of fire and provide enhanced safety in construction and interior design. 

MDF itself is a popular choice for furniture, cabinets, and wall panels due to its affordability and versatility, but when enhanced with fire-resistant properties, it becomes an invaluable asset in fire protection.

Fire rated MDF is appropriate for non-structural applications in indoor, dry environments, including furniture, decorative elements, and certain lightweight construction needs.

Where Is Fire Rated MDF Used? 

  • Public buildings
  • Exhibitions
  • Wall Linings
  • Partitions
  • Display Panels
  • Ceilings

Fire Retardant MDF Standards

  • EN ISO 11925 – Ignitability test
  • BS EN 13501-1 – Single Burning Item Test
  • BS EN BS 476: Part 22: 1987 – Fire rating when used as partition walls
  • BS EN 622-1 – Fibreboards Specifications: General Requirements
  • BS EN 622-5 – Fibreboards Specifications: Requirements for Dry Process Boards (MDF)
  • European Class B/C Fire Ratings

Fire Rated MDF Key Features

  • Complies with reaction for fire Class B or C as per EN3501 
  • CE marked for non-structural use under attestation system
  • Boards carry 60 minute (Euroclass B) or 30 minute (Euroclass C) fire ratings under BS 476: Part 22: 1987 for use as an internal wall partition
  • Same machining qualities as Standard MDF - equally easy to work with 

Safety Considerations

  • When in a workshop environment, workshop machines should be fitted with appropriate dust extraction equipment
  • Should be worked in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhalation of MDF dust 
  • Correct PPE such as dust masks and goggles should be worn when cutting 

Frequently Asked Fire Retardant MDF Questions

What Fire Ratings Are Available for Fire-Rated MDF?

Fire-Rated MDF is available in various fire ratings, typically expressed in minutes. Common ratings include 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 90 minutes. The rating indicates how long the material can withstand exposure to fire before losing its structural integrity.

How Should Fire-Rated MDF Be Installed to Maximise Fire Resistance?

Proper installation is essential. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines, use fire-resistant fasteners, and ensure that gaps are sealed with fire-resistant materials. It should also be part of a comprehensive fire protection system.

Can Fire-Rated MDF Be Used in Wet or Exterior Conditions?

No, Fire-Rated MDF is designed for internal dry conditions. It should not be used in wet or exterior applications, as exposure to moisture can compromise its fire-resistant properties.

Is Maintenance Required for Fire-Rated MDF?

Yes, regular maintenance is important to ensure its effectiveness over time. Inspect for any damage or wear, and promptly repair or replace any compromised sections to maintain its fire-resistant capabilities.

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