Why Hollowcore is Preferred for Fire Safety
September 18, 2023

Categories | Hollowcore

Why Hollowcore is Preferred for Fire Safety

Fire safety is an important consideration for every structure, but certain buildings, such as apartments, schools, warehouses, and hospitals, have stricter fire resistance and containment requirements. Hollowcore is a preferred building material for these applications due to its safety advantages.

Inherent Fire Resistance

Prestressed concrete is a passive fire protection (PFP) system, slowing the effects of smoke and fire without activation or assistance. This inherent fire resistance involves temperature regulation and structural resilience, making hollowcore a great choice for buildings with greater fire protection needs.

Heat Transmission

A material’s heat transmission refers to how effectively its mass limits temperature increase on the opposite side of a fire. Prestressed concrete has a slow rate of transmission, meaning the heat of a fire on one side of a wall will not transfer quickly to the other side of the wall.

Additionally, concrete is chemically inert and does not combust. This advantage prevents toxic fumes from being released into the building and contains fires within a controlled space.

Structural Protection

In addition to limiting heat transfer between walls, prestressed concrete is also preferred for its structural resilience to fire. Hollowcore walls have sufficient strength to endure severe temperatures without collapsing, preventing the spread of a fire and lessening costs of repair.

To determine the fire endurance of hollowcore, refer to the International Building Code and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s “Design for Fire Resistance of Precast/Prestressed Concrete.”

Safety Tested and Approved

Hollowcore is tested and rated to meet fire-resistance requirements and maintain fire ratings for up to three hours. The fire endurance of concrete is determined by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) E119, which identifies the procedures and materials used to manufacture quality, fire-resistant building components.

Use County Prestress’ Hollowcore for your next project by contacting our Customer Service Team at (708) 562-7700.

Learn more by viewing our Hollowcore Product Brochure and Project Gallery.