FibaTherm™ - the new easy-processing phenolic foam core material
Phenolic Foam – FibaTherm™
Phenolic foam is the core material of choice when fire, smoke and toxicity performance is key. However, handling phenolics is seldom easy and the blown foams suffer from friability problems. In contrast FTI’s newly-developed phenolic foam core material, FibaTherm™, while achieving excellent FST performance, is easy to process, quick to cure and has minimal friability.
Technically a syntactic foam with good compressive strength, FibaTherm™ can be supplied in blocks to be machine cut, pre-cut or as a two-component liquid to be moulded into complex shapes and pipe sections.
FibaTherm™ L, our two-part liquid system, has been designed to make processing easy and rapid. The two components, resin and activator, can be mixed by hand or mechanical mixer before injecting or pouring into the mould. With the mould heated to 50-80°C the mixture will cure in 15-20 minutes. As the two components react in an exothermic reaction the liquid expands to fill the closed mould.
Moulding a specific shape in this way cuts out waste almost entirely, so using FibaTherm™ L can be substantially more economic than starting with a block and cutting the shape you need. One of the key features of FibaTherm L phenolic foam is that, despite variable thicknesses through the mould, a moulded item has a consistent density throughout.
The versatility of this new phenolic foam allows it to be moulded at different densities between 100 and 200kg. The cured foam can support the weight of a man without damage. Its compressive strength allows it to be used in areas needing to take load, such as at pipe support areas in the oil and gas industry or as component cores in aerospace and rail applications.
FibaTherm™ has an operating temperature capability of up to 250 °C. For short term co-processing of high temperature thermoset or thermoplastic resins it can withstand exposure to 400°C. FibaTherm resists burn through and has passed the Class 1 requirement of the fire propagation standard BS476 part 6. Of equal importance to its fire resistance is the almost total lack of smoke, and complete lack of toxic smoke, produced on burning – thus meeting the strictest requirements.
Key features and benefits:
- resists burn through
- excellent FST characteristics – certification available on request
- easy to process and quick to cure
- good compressive and tensile strength characteristics
- none of the friability normally associated with blown phenolic foams
- supplied in block format ready for machine cutting or pre-cut to a variety of complex shapes
- two-part liquid version FibaTherm™ L can be moulded into different shapes and densities
- consistent density throughout
- minimum waste when moulded
- can be used as a core with phenolic prepreg ‘skins’ applied to provide impact resistance. Ideal for doors, partitions, flooring and wall lining
- when combined with FibaSil silicate coating it provides jet fire endurance up to 120 minutes, dependent on thickness