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ACTIFOAM/ULTRA withstands 2 hours fire test at 1200 degrees Celcius
The ACTIFOAM/ULTRA sealing system of Beele Engineering has been tested according to the H-curve test, one of the most severe fire tests. The sealing system withstood a temperature of 1200 oC during two hours with peak temperatures far above 1200 oC.
The ACTIFOAM/ULTRA sealing system has been developed for applications such as tunnels where gaps have to be sealed effectively against ingress and to avoid smoke and flame spread.

The sealing systems consists of a flexible sandwich construction that is made of layers of ACTIFOAM and RISE/ULTRA. Based on the closed cell structure, the ACTIFOAM material has very good thermal insulation properties, while the RISE/ULTRA material enables adhesive expansion when exposed to fire. The combined rubber grades offer an excellent fire safety which can even be further improved by finishing the ACTIFOAM/ULTRA combination with a layer of NOFIRNO sealant. When exposed to fire the sealant will form a ceramic, protective layer that prevents any direct consumption of the ACTIFOAM/ULTRA material by the fire.

The test was carried out on a construction that is often used in tunnels as well as in many other applications. It consists of a 200 mm thick wall with an opening of 130 x 1.000 mm. The 160 mm wide ACTIFOAM/ULTRA sandwich material was inserted in the gap. The material was slightly oversized to enable a good fixation of the material in the gap. The exposed side of the sealing system was then finished with a 20 mm thick layer of NOFIRNO sealant.

The construction was exposed to a time/temperature curve that is even higher than that of hydrocarbon fire test. The fire test on ACTIFOAM/ULTRA showed not only a much steeper time/temperature curve than used for a common fire test but the temperature was also much higher. Within 3 minutes the temperature reached 900 oC; within 10 minutes 1.150 oC and within 20 minutes 1.200 oC. The very fast and extreme temperature rise is meant to test the resistance of the sealing system against hydrocarbon-fueled fires, that could happen after a car accident in a tunnel. After the ACTIFOAM/ULTRA was exposed to the extreme heat for 135 minutes, the temperature rise on the non-exposed side of the sealing material was only 8 – 10 °C. There was no change of colour, no smoke and no deformation of the sealing system.

After cooling down, the test wall was demolished to determine to what extend ACTIFOAM/ULTRA was affected by the fire load. Most of the ACTIFOAM/ULTRA was found to be unaffected and not more than 30 mm of the 160 mm showed a colour change due to active reaction to the high temperatures to which the gap seal was exposed. The NOFIRNO sealant had formed a 25 mm thick ceramic protective layer.

Besides for tunnel applications ACTIFOAM/ULTRA is used on a large scale as a fire safe sealing system between stacked modules on offshore installations. Much research has been carried out on fire loads but also on mechanical loads, such as compression and stress relaxation of the rubber compound. As a result of this research Beele Engineering also developed a special gum with high bonding strenth for gluing the rubber compound to a steel construction.

The ACTIFOAM/ULTRA sandwich construction is available in several thicknesses and in a length of 1 meter.