What materials are fireproof?

Written by anthony moultry
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What materials are fireproof?
Fireproof materials are able to reduce the flow of heat through the thickness of the material. (fire image by Fotocie from Fotolia.com)

Fireproof materials, also known as fire-retardants, are able to withstand extremely high temperatures and are designed to help slow the spread of a fire. Fireproof materials are able to reduce the flow of heat through the thickness of the material. Although the materials may be called "fireproof," no material is 100 per cent fireproof because all materials eventually are affected if temperatures are high enough.

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Refractories are hard, heat-resistant materials such as cement, bricks, precast shapes, ceramics and fire clay. Some of the minerals used to make refractories include alumina, chromite, fire clays, magnesite and silicon carbide. Refractories are generally used in high-temperature environments such as furnaces, reactors and other processing units. They are also used in electrical or thermal insulation. Refractories can withstand higher temperatures than metal (more than 538 degrees Celsius) and are also able to withstand physical wear and chemical agents.


Fibreglass is a combination, primarily, of glass and sand. The raw materials used to make fibreglass include silica sand, limestone, soda ash and may include calcined alumina, borax, feldspar, nepheline syenite, magnesite and kaolin clay. Fibreglass is produced by forcing molten glass through a sifter machine which spins it into threads, which are bonded together. Fibreglass is strong, durable, and is naturally nonflammable because it is made from sand and recycled glass. It can be made for specific reasons such as Type E (electrical), for electrical insulation tape, textiles and reinforcement; Type C (chemical), for acid resistance; and Type T, for thermal insulation. Fibreglass is commonly used for ship hulls, automobiles, in furnaces and air-conditioning units and acoustical walls (to keep sound in or out).

Mineral Wool and Glass Wool

Mineral and glass wool are not good conductors of heat or sound, are noncombustible and have high melting temperatures, making them ideal fireproofing materials. Both are also insect-proof, which make them good building materials as well (in case of termites). Mineral and glass wool is made from slag, rock, glass and minerals that have been melted and spun into filaments (a threadlike object). Common uses for mineral and glass wool include thermal insulation, fireproofing, automotive gaskets and brake pads.

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