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04—05—2023

How to Meet Your Required Group Fire Rating With Plywood

In any project, compliance and safety are critical, and one aspect that must be considered when specifying materials is meeting the required Group Fire Ratings. 

Unlike BAL Ratings which are related to the fire risk of the location, Group Ratings describe the fire hazard properties of the material itself. After undergoing strict testing methods (as specified in the AS 5637) materials are allocated a Group Number rating along with a Group Rating certificate to certify they have been tested according to the required standards. There are four possible ratings, from non-combustible, through to Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3, where Group 3 is the lowest rating with no known fire retardant elements. Depending on the type of building and its intended use, you may be required to meet a specified Group Fire Rating with the materials used on your project.

If this is the case, can plywood be used to meet the higher group ratings? Read on to find out!

What Group Rating is standard ply?

With four possible Group Fire Ratings, you may be wondering, where does plywood fit? Standard plywood is classified as a Group 3 timber, which essentially means it does not contain any specific fire retardant elements. However, if your project requires Group 1 or 2 materials, don’t cross plywood off your list just yet! There is a fast, simple and effective way to alter the fire retardant elements in ply so that it is compliant and meets the higher ratings.

How to boost the fire retardants element in ply 

Boosting the fire retardant elements in ply and achieving a Group 1 rating is possible with many of our products, including Maxi Panel, Maxi Edge and Maxi Veneer, simply by coating them with an intumescent clear coating called Fireshield. When exposed to heat radiation from fire, the Fireshield coating foams up, forming a protective layer to prevent the spread of flames over the treated surface. Affordable, accessible and simple to use, it is a fantastic solution for projects where a high level of fire protection is required.    

In addition, Group 2 Fire Ratings can be met by selecting Fire Rated MDF, which is available in pressed panels manufactured from high-density wood fibres mixed with a fire-retardant additive.

Are there any exceptions?

Keep in mind that our perforated panels are quite different to our standard plywood panels and the Group Fire Rating can change when the holes are added. As such, we recommend you discuss your fire rating needs with our team to ensure your chosen product is compliant with the required ratings on your project.

Talk to us for expert Group Fire Rating advice 

If you have a question regarding Group Fire Ratings and plywood, our team is on hand to provide expert guidance. Contact us on 1300 761 741 or at [email protected] to discuss your needs. We’re always happy to help! 

Contact us for more information
Posted by: Category: Walls/ Ceilings, Technical Info, Facts About Ply

04—05—2023

How to Meet Your Required Group Fire Rating With Plywood
Posted by: Category: Walls/ Ceilings, Technical Info, Facts About Ply

In any project, compliance and safety are critical, and one aspect that must be considered when specifying materials is meeting the required Group Fire Ratings. 

Unlike BAL Ratings which are related to the fire risk of the location, Group Ratings describe the fire hazard properties of the material itself. After undergoing strict testing methods (as specified in the AS 5637) materials are allocated a Group Number rating along with a Group Rating certificate to certify they have been tested according to the required standards. There are four possible ratings, from non-combustible, through to Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3, where Group 3 is the lowest rating with no known fire retardant elements. Depending on the type of building and its intended use, you may be required to meet a specified Group Fire Rating with the materials used on your project.

If this is the case, can plywood be used to meet the higher group ratings? Read on to find out!

What Group Rating is standard ply?

With four possible Group Fire Ratings, you may be wondering, where does plywood fit? Standard plywood is classified as a Group 3 timber, which essentially means it does not contain any specific fire retardant elements. However, if your project requires Group 1 or 2 materials, don’t cross plywood off your list just yet! There is a fast, simple and effective way to alter the fire retardant elements in ply so that it is compliant and meets the higher ratings.

How to boost the fire retardants element in ply 

Boosting the fire retardant elements in ply and achieving a Group 1 rating is possible with many of our products, including Maxi Panel, Maxi Edge and Maxi Veneer, simply by coating them with an intumescent clear coating called Fireshield. When exposed to heat radiation from fire, the Fireshield coating foams up, forming a protective layer to prevent the spread of flames over the treated surface. Affordable, accessible and simple to use, it is a fantastic solution for projects where a high level of fire protection is required.    

In addition, Group 2 Fire Ratings can be met by selecting Fire Rated MDF, which is available in pressed panels manufactured from high-density wood fibres mixed with a fire-retardant additive.

Are there any exceptions?

Keep in mind that our perforated panels are quite different to our standard plywood panels and the Group Fire Rating can change when the holes are added. As such, we recommend you discuss your fire rating needs with our team to ensure your chosen product is compliant with the required ratings on your project.

Talk to us for expert Group Fire Rating advice 

If you have a question regarding Group Fire Ratings and plywood, our team is on hand to provide expert guidance. Contact us on 1300 761 741 or at [email protected] to discuss your needs. We’re always happy to help! 

Contact us for more information