What Is a 3-Hour Fire Rated Wall?


Nov 06, 2023

Modern construction has a greater focus on safety than ever before. Amongst these safety concerns, preventing unnecessary loss of life and destruction of property due to uncontrolled fires is considered a top priority.

One of the most innovative and fastest-growing forms of fire safety is the 3-hour fire-rated wall. These specialized walls are designed to act as a fire barrier that can slow the spread of a fire.

Not only does this reduce the amount of destruction the fire can cause, it can contain flames and provide building occupants with the time they need to evacuate. It can also give first responders more time to arrive and extinguish the fire on the scene.

Today, we will explain why 3-hour-rated walls are used in buildings across almost every industry. From there, we will even introduce an affordable and effective 3-hour rated wall panel.

So, let’s get started!

What Is a Fire Rated Wall?

Black and white icon of fireproof wall concept

As mentioned above, fire-rated walls are specialized structural barriers designed to withstand exposure to heat and direct flames for a predetermined length of time.

While building an entire structure using fire-rated walls is possible, they are usually used for compartmentalization.

This means they are strategically placed throughout a building to help contain fires and provide occupants with the time necessary to evacuate. In some cases, fire-rated walls are used to line escape routes.

Each type of fire-rated wall is classified according to its unique rating. Typically, this rating corresponds with how long the wall can withstand direct exposure to fire without collapsing or burning.

After careful testing of the build materials, these ratings are granted so they can provide a reasonable estimate of how long the wall could help contain a fire.

What Is a 3-Hour Fire-Rated Wall?

As the name suggests, a 3-hour rated fire wall is a fire-rated wall capable of withstanding direct flames for at least three hours. This “3-hour” label is not just an estimate, as any fire-rated wall or building material must undergo rigorous testing from impartial organizations to prove its ability to withstand direct exposure to fire for a full three hours.

Not only must the wall withstand three hours of fire exposure, it must be able to prevent the fire from spreading to the other side of the wall. This means it must be able to reflect heat and contain sparks and embers.

Naturally, a 3-hour rated fire wall can provide extended fire protection over 1-hour and 2-hour rated fire walls. A 3-hour fire-rated wall is 6” thick, while a 1-hour is 4” and a 2-hour is 5”.

This makes 3-hour rated walls an ideal option for structures where a high level of fire protection is required. This could be buildings that regularly have many occupants and structures that house valuable inventory and other assets.

Fire-rated walls with a higher rating are also popular for buildings with an increased risk of fires, like agricultural buildings and warehouses.

What Are 3-Hour Rated Walls Used For?

Fire-rated walls, especially those with high ratings, are used for various applications. They can be incorporated into a wide variety of construction projects, as slowing the spread of fires at any time can prove incredibly valuable.

With commercial and office buildings, a fire partition can protect lives, inventory, equipment, and the building itself. Even more industrial buildings, like factories and food processing facilities, now incorporate fire-rated walls into their design.

Like fire sprinkler systems, designated evacuation routes, and strategically placed fire extinguishers, fire-rated walls are considered essential to fire prevention.

Introducing Rockwall Fire Rated Wall Panels

While fire-rated walls’ benefits speak for themselves, most assume that outfitting a building with them would be incredibly expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, a simple and affordable solution is Rockwall Fire-Rated Wall Panels.

These easy-to-install fire-rated wall panels feature a unique Rockwool mineral fiber core called “Conrock” bonded with steel sheet metal on both sides.

Not only are Rockwall Fire Rated Wall Panels available with a 3-hour fire rating, but thinner versions are also available with 1- and 2-hour fire ratings. Since they have legitimate Intertek/Warnock Hersey fire rating certification, Rockwall Wall Panels can even help reduce your insurance premiums.

Whether you are planning a new construction project or want to outfit an existing structure with fire-rated walls, these specialized and reliable wall panels are easy to install.

Benefits of Rockwall Fire Rated Wall Panels

Rockwall diagram

Outstanding and Versatile Fire Resistance

Rockwall Wall Panels deliver reliable fire resistance thanks to their unique mineral core design. The fact that they are also available with various fire resistance rating options means you can find the exact level of fire protection and thermal performance you need.

Protect your property and potentially save lives with fire-rated wall panels that you can actually trust.

Uncomplicated Installation

Rockwall Wall Panels are designed with tongue-and-groove edges, so they easily and snuggly slide into position for installers who are familiar with this style of insulated building panel.

They can also be custom-made to fit almost any workable height. They can even be tailored to accommodate windows, vents, and other obstacles.

Their interlocking design and durable construction also mean you save time during installation, which can translate to reduced labour costs and less downtime for your business.

Superior Insulation

Rockwall Wall Panels also offer an R-value of 4.1 per inch, which will not diminish over time. This means that you can save money on utility bills. In fact, Rockwall panels can result in energy savings of as much as 30% over traditional multi-part building materials.

Given that their fire rating can also save you money on insurance costs, and they are a much more affordable option than constructing conventional fire-rated walls, they can be just as much of a financial investment as a safety precaution.

High-Quality Materials and Exceptional Performance

Rockwall Wall Panels offer reliable fire resistance, perform well in other regards and have an eye-catching aesthetic profile. Their seamless design means they are straightforward to clean and built to last. They are also incredibly hygienic and meet the strict sanitation standards outlined by the CFIA.

Their resistance to mould and mildew also means they are an excellent option for agricultural buildings and food preparation facilities. They also have impressive chemical resistance, meaning they can withstand exposure to most mineral acids, bases, salts, and more.

Make the Right Choice!

If you want a free Rockwall sample or receive an estimate, simply click the link below. We would happily explain how Rockwall Fire-Rated Wall Panels would be the perfect fit for your specific project.

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