TFP’s TECNOFIRE® materials provide effective fire protection in a wide variety of applications and have been specified for use in construction products, aircraft, bridges, buses, trains and architectural fire doors.
The latest successful application for TECNOFIRE® is composite utility poles, manufactured by Valmont Industries, Inc., a leading producer of utility structures. The composite poles are used as transmission and distribution poles and have to withstand rigorous fire testing to ensure that they maintain their integrity in the event of a fire. This requires them to pass the USA Utility Company Consortium Fire Tests and withstand temperatures of 1150°C / 2100°F without significant structural loss. Valmont incorporates one of TFP’s infusible TECNOFIRE® grades into their composite structure which is fabricated using centrifugal casting and filament winding. The TECNOFIRE® will activate in the event of a fire to produce a stable insulating char and thereby ensure the structural integrity of the pole.
There is no specific standard for the simulated Wildfire Test carried out; in this case the set up devised by Mark Ackerman, a forest fire expert, was used in which the utilty pole is enclosed within a steel culvert and subjected to 1150°C / 2100°F for 2 and 3 minutes respectively. This is to simulate an extreme wildfire. In addition to this, the utility poles must achieve a V0 rating in fire test UL94 to be classified as “self-extinguishing” and have a flame spread index of 25 or less as per the ASTM E84 Class 1 rating. With the help of TECNOFIRE®, Valmont’s composite utility poles successfully passed all the fire testing, maintaining their integrity under load during the simulated Wildfire Test, as well as passing pre- and post-burn structural testing via the ASTM D1036 Pole Bending Test.