Fireproof insulation is insulation made of a fire retardant material. It may be used in building materials, clothing or other applications fireproofing is needed. This type of insulation may be made from special materials not normally used for other applications, or may be standard insulating materials coated with a fireproof layer.
Fireproof insulation is usually made of one of four basic types of materials. Each material has its benefits, its appropriate uses and its limitations. These materials include fiberglass, glass wool, polymers and natural products, which may or may not be treated with other substances.
It is important, when looking at materials, to understand that fireproof insulation types may only be most effective at certain temperatures. Once those temperatures are exceeded, the entire material could be broken down and the insulation would become ineffective. Fiberglass should only be used to temperatures up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100° Celsius). Glass wool may be used between 212° Fahrenheit (100° Celsius) and 1,220° F (660° C). Many types of polymers are rated for temperatures up to 2,220° F (1,215° C). Some natural fireproof insulation can withstand temperatures as high as 3,000° F (1,649° C).
One of the most common uses for fireproof insulation is in attics and walls of various types of buildings, including homes and commercial establishments. Most of the standard insulation included will be able to resist some fires. It should be noted that most insulation is not truly fireproof, but rather fire resistant. There may be times when the material, through an abundance of fire or heat, will succumb to fire.
Another use of this type of insulation is in clothing used by those who will be working closely with fire. This will include occupations such as firefighting and some industrial jobs, where coming into close proximity to fire could be a normal part of the daily routine. In these cases, the insulation's first job is to protect against heat, but in cases where the clothing comes into direct contact with a flame, the fireproof insulation has a secondary purpose which is no less important.
When considering fireproof insulation, it is important to consider what the insulation will need to resist and endure on a daily basis. Once that is determined, it is then possible to choose materials and types. For a building, fireproof insulation can come in the form of foam boards, rolls or loose foam insulation that is often sprayed into an area such as an attic or wall.