Fire rated expansion joints are critical to life safety in structures. An expansion joint is a separation, a gap, intentionally designed to bisect a structure. Expansion, or movement joints, are needed to absorb movement induced in building materials by thermal changes. Movement joints additionally absorb seismic, static load, live load, and wind induced sway movements.
But, as movement joints are a gap through the structure, they present a critical path for the passage of smoke and fire. They must be properly sealed with tested and certified fire-and-heat resistive expansion joint systems. Furthermore, proper compartmentation is critical. Compartmentation refers to continuity of seal and fire barrier in all changes from floor to walls so as to form compartments of containment of a fire.
Redbooklive, in their whitepaper “Fire-compartmention-in-Buildings.pdf” describes the concept as follows:
“Fire compartmentation in buildings in the form of walls and floors is designed to protect the occupants in and around a building and fire and resucue service personnel from the spread of fire by containing it in the compartment of origin for a period of time.
Compartmentation is a vital part of the fire safety design of a building and seeks to divide large spaces into smaller, more manageable ones should a fire occur. Fire compartmentation is also used in order to create a safe, protected means of escape for the building occupants.”
Overture Yorktown demonstrates the unique capability of Emseal’s suite of industry-redefining Emshield heat and fire resistive expansion joint systems in achieving full compartmentation.
Fire Compartmentation from Floors To Walls
Transitions from floor to wall in fire-rated expansion joints pose a particular vulnerability when installing traditional fire blankets. The SJS-FR floor expansion joint cover system from Emseal transitions easily into the Emshield WFR2 system in the walls. AND, installation is done without the need to access the underside of the slab. This means the SJS-FR is not interrupted by underslab obstructions like electrical, HVAC, and plumbing infrastructure.