Uncontrolled fires often have tragic consequences. Not only do they damage property, but they also pose a huge human cost. Flame retardant tarps can protect you against more than just actual fire. Read on to understand how they work, the materials used, and some of their uses and functions.
How do Flame Retardant Tarps Work?
In the event of a fire, flame retardants (FRs) suppress or delay the spread of a fire. They do so by forming a protective shield on the material’s surface, effectively preventing a fire from spreading. Fire or flame retardant tarps are treated with chemicals for them to work. The chemicals put out the flame, lowering the risk of you getting burned by hot objects. Using chemically treated flame retardants can delay the onset of a full-fledged, life-threatening fire. Chemical reactions can only happen when oxygen or fuel is present; otherwise, a fire will die out.
Materials Used to Make Flame Retardant Tarps
Flame-resistant tarps come in many different types. They are classed mostly based on their chemical structure and characteristics. In terms of materials, fire retardant tarps are not as complicated as one may believe. Flame retardant materials are added to plastics, substrates, and polymers, making them burn slowly or self-extinguish when exposed to open flames. The most commonly used materials include;
- PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ether)
Major Uses of Flame Retardant Tarps
When would a fire-retardant tarp come in handy? Here are various ways you can put one to good use.
Protection against Static Electricity
If you’re working in an industry that deals with large volumes of flammable substances, there’s is no doubt that a single spark could spell disaster. That is where flame retardant tarps come in handy. They are known to prevent the generation of static electricity. You can hang them up in certain areas or use them as flooring. Alternatively, if you’re setting up an outdoor event or a yard sale, a flame retardant can ensure static doesn’t damage any of your electronics.
Covering Flammable Substances When Shipping
It is important to note that some materials are more flammable than others. Substances such as magnesium, household matches, sulfur, activated carbon, and aluminum powder pose a greater risk when transported or shipped. They can easily ignite a fire when exposed to friction and water. It is, therefore, recommended to cover them with an FR-rated tarp. Using a high-quality fire proof tarp when in transit not only minimizes the risk of fire ignition but also prevents dangerous spreading in the event of a fire.
Welders are known to use flames to join metals together. If you’re storing any dry materials such as wood or papers in your welding plant, there’s a high possibility they might catch fire. Consider using a flame retardant tarp to prevent yourself from fire exposure and it spreading to your entire welding workshop.
Alternatively, flame retardant tarps can also act as campsite canopies when camping. All it takes for a campfire to grow out of proportion is a big gust of wind. Low-hanging branches or loose materials can quickly catch fire, causing a disaster. Instead of running the risk, you can use a flame retardant tarp for the top of your campsite to help maintain some of the heat. It not only helps heat a small area as long as the campfire is burning, but it also prevents debris from falling from the treetops and catching fire.
Insulation During Winter
Some construction workers don’t get to take a break during the winter. They use forced air heaters that propel fire through iron tubes to keep warm. However, using forced air comes with its own set of dangers, and also running the heaters is not cheap. Fortunately, flame retardant tarps offer a viable solution, eliminating many of your concerns. They can contain enough heat without bursting into flames. That way, you can continue working on your job site without freezing.
No doubt, these tarps work wonders – from insulation during winter to protecting your property against static shocks and fire exposure. If you’re in the market for a flame retardant tarp, it’s worth purchasing one that perfectly meets your needs.
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