FIRE TEST: Knauf tests their plasterboard products for compliance to the building standards by means of regulated fire tests.
FIRE TEST: Knauf tests their plasterboard products for compliance to the building standards by means of regulated fire tests.

Knauf experiments with fire-resilient plasterboard

WHILE debate continues to circle about vegetation management policies, perhaps there is a household fire resilience solution a little closer to home - the house design itself.

According to the Bushfire Building Council of Australia an estimated 90 per cent of homes in bushfire prone regions in Australia were not resilient.

Technical services manager at Knauf Australia Ben Wright said that all plasterboard was naturally fire resistant and classified as non-combustible according to the National Construction Code.

And such a material is made in Bundaberg.

The local Knauf facility manufactures a fire resistant plasterboard made with a gypsum core and recycled pink liner paper; and it's fittingly named Fireshield.

"The gypsum core of plasterboard slows down the spread of fire by releasing chemical bound water when heated - almost like an internal sprinkler system," Mr Wright said.

"At Knauf we also have a range of specially designed fire rated plasterboards - Fireshield, Multishield, Trurock, Trurock HD - that include additives to make them even more resistant to fire."

Mr Wright said demand for fire rated plasterboard was always strong as it was an efficient and cost effective way to build. "An increase in demand for plasterboard in general can be expected as people start rebuilding the properties destroyed or damaged in the recent bushfires," Mr Wright said.

"We expect a bigger demand for fire-rated plasterboard because they may wish to further improve their level of protection."

As stated by the product details, material like Fireshield is typically used for internal linings in residential, commercial or industrial applications where a Fire Resistance Level (FRL) is required, when used in a system, it can meet the fire rating requirements for walls and ceilings required by the Building Code of Australia.

Knauf Bundaberg is at 96 Buss St, Burnett Heads.