TFP announces new application for Tecnofire in composite utility poles

Utility poles incorporating Tecnofire intumescent nonwovens passed fire tests without significant structural loss.


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Technical Fibre Products’ (TFP, Burneside, U.K.) Tecnofire line of intumescent nonwoven materials provide fire protection in a wide variety of applications in construction products, aircraft, bridges, buses, trains and architectural fire doors. (See “Tecnofire adds fire resistance to transportation and infrastructure applications” for examples.)

According to TFP, the latest successful application for Tecnofire is use in filament-wound composite utility poles, manufactured by utility structures producer Valmont Industries Inc. (Omaha, Neb., U.S.). Valmont incorporates one of TFP’s infusible Tecnofire grades into its composite structure, which is fabricated using centrifugal casting and filament winding.

The composite poles are used as transmission and distribution poles and have to withstand rigorous fire testing to ensure that they maintain their integrity in the event of a fire. This requires them to pass the USA Utility Company Consortium Fire Tests and withstand temperatures of 1,150°C (2,100°F) without significant structural loss. 

As evidenced through fire tests, Tecnofire will activate in the event of a fire to produce a stable insulating char and thereby ensure the structural integrity of the pole.


Tecnofire intumescent nonwoven for composite utility poles

Before, during and after fire tests to the composite poles. Source | TFP


The simulated wildfire fire test case is set up devised by Mark Ackerman, a forest fire expert, was used in which the utility pole is enclosed within a steel culvert and subjected to 1,150°C (2,100°F) for 2 and 3 minutes, respectively. In addition to this, the utility poles must achieve a V0 rating in fire test UL94 to be classified as “self-extinguishing” and have a flame spread index of 25 or less as per the ASTM E84 Class 1 rating. With the help of Tecnofire, Valmont’s composite utility poles successfully passed all the fire testing, maintaining their integrity under load during the simulated Wildfire Test, as well as passing pre- and post-burn structural testing via the ASTM D1036 Pole Bending Test.

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