PROMATECT-H boards survive earthquake and fire to keep people safe

In the framework of the EQUFIRE project (sponsored by SERA, ‘Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructure Alliance for Europe’ ) Promat has tested how our famous fire protection board PROMATECT-H performs in case of an earthquake, followed by a fire. A unique series of seismic tests in an Italian and a German laboratory simulated real earthquakes and delivered spectacular results. Our calcium-silicate board with its unique Promax® technology is able to fully protect a full-scale load-bearing steel structure against fire, even when the earth is shaken.

Earthquakes are a real threat for a large part of our planet. When such an earthquake hits a town or a region, it often causes terrible damage and loss of life. Therefore, Etex keeps looking for new ways to protect people and buildings against all possible dangers linked to earthquakes. One such danger is the outbreak of fire after an earthquake. When the earth shakes, it damages gas pipes or electrical systems. This often results in the outbreak of a fire that can weaken the load-bearing steel structure of a building damaged by the seismic actions. It is crucial, therefore, that the fire protection systems continue to protect the building, even after a strong earthquake.

Promat has a mission to protect people and buildings against fire, whatever the cause. This is why we contributed to this unique project to test whether our PROMATECT-H board would maintain its fire protection capabilities after several severe earthquakes.

The EQUFIREproject is the first test in history to simulate a real earthquake, followed by fire. The seismic test was done on several steel elements and on a copy of an existing steel structure as installed in a building in Lisbon, a city with specific building regulations to cover the danger of an earthquake. The results were simply spectacular. After a range of demanding seismic tests that made the installation tremble to its core, the board remained almost intact. Some small cracks appeared in the board, but the fire protection capabilities of our system remained intact and the fire test was successful, showing that the fire performances were not compromised. This proves again that PROMATECT-H is a unique product with amazing structural strength.

Until today, no seismic research looked at the big picture of passive fire protection for buildings. This first collaboration between the European Commission and Promat will not only strengthen our position in the market but also bring peace of mind to all the architects, engineers and contractors who use PROMATECT-H boards to protect people and buildings against fire in risk areas.

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