From an extensive series of independent tests, SPS has been shown to offer significant built-in resistance to and protection against fire loads.
The behaviour of the elastomer core and metal faceplates at elevated temperatures is well understood. Design methodologies have been developed to ensure that SPS structures will perform safely in extreme fire conditions.
SPS structures (SPS 4-25-4) have been approved as 60 minutes barriers for maritime structures when assessed against the IMO (International Maritime Organisation), SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) A60 criteria, which are very similar to typical civil requirements. In fact, recent tests have demonstrated that similar structures can provide protection against a 90 minute hydrocarbon fire.
In reality, SPS substantially out-performs conventional structural fire protection. Conventional insulation will allow the unexposed structure to reach 180°C in 60 minutes, where as SPS will only reach ~50°C. Furthermore, conventional insulation often becomes detached during an extreme event allowing the plate to reach 713°C, whereas SPS’s protection is continuous across the whole structure rather than applied in sections.
Typically SPS’s elastomer is not directly exposed to a fire as it is contained behind the faceplates. However, even if it is fully exposed, the elastomer has been shown to meet all the necessary toxicity requirements of SOLAS tests.