Article Archive
Point of Penetration
3M offers new fire barrier duct wrap to meet ASTM E 2336 standard.
Volume 24, No. 6

To meet the most stringent standard being enforced nationally for grease duct fire protection, 3M Company introduced a lighter and less dense fire barrier duct wrap in September to compete with traditional fire protection such as gypsum wallboard shafts and other bulky wrap systems.

3M? Fire Barrier Duct Wrap 615+Jenny Hicks, marketing manager for Fire Protection Products with 3M Building and Commercial Services Division, said that 3M Fire Barrier Duct Wrap 615+ was developed specifically to meet the new ASTM E 2336 test standards referenced in the 2009 Edition of the International Mechanical Code.

"UL 1978 was the original test standard for grease duct protection that was referenced in the building code," Hicks said. "However, part of the country was using a more rigorious test standard known as ASTM E 2336."

Testing agencies responsible for the model building codes adopted by more jurisdictions opted to move to the tougher ASTM E 2336 test standard. As a result, 3M replaced its previous fire barrier duct wrap designated 15A with the new 3M Fire Barrier Duct Wrap 615+ product.

The new standard requires that grease duct enclosure systems resist combustion when exposed to 1,382 degrees F. Fire Barrier Duct Wrap 615+ is a lightweight, thin-profile insulation product that provides up to two hours of fire protection for grease and air ventilation ducts by resisting maximum temperature of up to 2,192 degrees F.

3M Fire Barrier Duct Wrap 615+ installed around duct creates a fire-resistive barrier that maintains the duct integrity and helps prevent fire from rapidly spreading throughout a building. ASTM E 2336 requires two layers of fire protection material are necessary around grease ducts in jurisdiction that have adopted the 2009 IMC or the 2008 edition of NFPA 96.

"There are different ways to protect a grease duct," Hicks said. "You can use a gypsum rock wall around the grease duct or you can use a prefabricated duct which provides another layer of metal around the duct with additional insulation inside."

The advantage of using duct wrap instead is zero clearance, Hicks said.

"A gypsum wall is combustible," she said. "If you chose to protect a grease duct with it you have to have 18 inches of clearance between them. If there are space constrains a zero clearance product such as 3M Fire Barrier Duct Wrap 615+ is very important." The new 3M product weighs only six pound per cubic foot, about two pcf lighter than previous wraps on the market.

However, depending on insulation alone presents problems. Fire Barrier Duct Wrap 615+ is only part of an overall 3M system of duct wraps and sealants designed to better protect industrial facilities.

"When a grease duct crosses a fire rated wall or floor, the situation becomes more complicated," Hicks said. "We call that a point of through penetration."

Using special chalks in conjunction with the duct wrap prevents fire from passing through the point of penetration, she said.

"We like to talk about the value of our whole system, not just protecting the duct but protecting the points of through penetration that ducts create," Hicks said.

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