When it comes to passive fire protection, the product price isn’t the be-all and end-all. The main thing that matters is safety, which you can’t put a price on.
However, if you can get a product that can keep people safe for cheaper, we understand this is a path you’re likely to take.
But, if you can get all the standards and proven quality, we believe that is worth a bit extra. That is why Multifix stocks Protecta’s FR Acrylic as, even though it costs more, we believe it’s worth it.
Why do we believe it’s worth it, though? Why is the higher price justified? Why shouldn’t you just go with a cheaper option that does the same thing and is as safe?
Those are some of the questions that we’ll be looking to cover in this article. We’ll explain why we value it the way we do, what it’s capable of and why it might be right for you.
What is the price of Protecta FR acrylic?
There are two versions of the Protecta FR Acrylic that we sell. The first is the FR Acrylic 310ml Cart 4Hr Intumescent Sealant, which has a list price of £3.06 ex. VAT. The second is the FR Acrylic 310ml Cart 4Hr Intumescent Pure White, which has a list price of £4.06 ex. VAT.
The difference between the two is that the cheaper one is off-white, whereas the more expensive one is pure white. The pure white one is a better fit if cosmetics are a factor, as it’s not as obvious on the surface. Aside from that, it’s the same product.
In addition, we also sell two foils to complement the FR Acrylic. The Eco-Foil is designed to reduce waste on-site, as you simply put the foils into the empty cartridges. Multifix stocks the 300ml and 600ml foils, which have list prices of £2.77 and £4.51 respectively, ex. VAT.
How much more expensive are FR Acrylics compared to competitors?
The answer ranges from a little bit, to quite a bit. The list price of the Quelfire QuelStop 310ml costs £2.95 ex. VAT, while the Nullifire FS702 310ml list price is £3.35 ex. VAT. Meanwhile, the FSi Pyrocoustic 310ml has a list price of £2.15 ex. VAT.
Equally, the Pyroplex Intumescent Acrylic Sealant costs £2.09 ex. VAT and the FS4 Fireshield AC Intumescent Acrylic costs £1.94 ex. VAT. It is worth noting that we do not stock any of these products.
As such then, only one of the five mentioned is more expensive than the FR Acrylic, while none cost more than the FR Acrylic in white.
Why is the FR Acrylic more expensive?
There are two reasons why Protecta’s FR Acrylic is more expensive:
- It isn’t just exclusively used for non-combustible pipes, as it can also be used for cable bundles
- It can be used in pipes up to 32mm diameter
The first point is arguably ample reason as is, given the versatility aspects can really help you when firestopping. However, it is the second point where the FR Acrylic really earns its value.
Whether non-combustible or combustible, FR Acrylic be used on pipes up to 32mm in diameter. This is a notable difference as none of the competitors listed can go to 32mm pipe diameter.
Acrylics are suited for 10-30mm openings and for anything above 30mm, you would normally have to use graphite instead. Graphite is more expensive than acrylics; for context, a 310ml cartridge of FR Graphite from Protecta costs £6.04 ex. VAT.
Therefore, if you have a diameter space that the acrylic can fill instead of graphite, you’ll save yourself a lot of money in the long run.
Is there anything else that makes it more expensive?
Yes – the movement it offers. The QuelStop and Pyroplex can allow a maximum movement capability of 7.5%, but the FR Acrylic goes further and offers you 12.5%.
The maximum movement capability is how much the sealant will expand in the event of a fire before cracking. The more it can expand, the better it can protect you, so to be 5% up on competitor products is huge.
It has also been independently verified for use with cPVC pipes, such as the Blazemaster. It isn’t on the Lubrizol-approved list but is still cleared for use.
Is there anything another product can do better?
In the balance of fairness, we will highlight a few areas where other products have something of an advantage over the FR Acrylic.
The most notable one is the gaps for linear joints, whether they’re concrete or gypsum board. The FR Acrylic has a maximum width of 30mm; any wider than that and the product can crack and shrink.
By comparison, the QuelStop is suitable for linear joints up to 50mm wide when it comes to concrete to concrete, steel or softwood. However, it only goes to 20mm wide for a gypsum board with a steelhead track.
The FSi Pyrocoustic eclipses both as it also goes to 50mm wide gaps for linear joints but for all materials.
Finally, when it comes to acoustic protection, there’s very little in it. That being said, while the FR Acrylic can offer acoustic protection of Rw 62 dB, both the QuelStop and the FSi Pyrocoustic can offer up to Rw 63 dB.
Is the FR Acrylic worth the extra then?
As we said at the start of the article, we do believe so. The extra 5% manoeuvrability is a big plus, but being able to use it for diameter gaps up to 32mm is huge.
Also, the fact it can be used with cPVC pipes isn’t to be dismissed. When the alternative is graphite, the FR Acrylic is a cheaper option in the long run.
The maximum width of 30mm for linear joints can be an issue, but considering everything, you’ll get your money’s worth with the FR Acrylic.
You also get a lot of technical support with the FR Acrylic as well. To find out more about the technical support and what you should be looking for with it, read this article.