Westemp® insulation is a non-asbestos, incombustible material manufactured in panel form. Designed specifically for fire department burn room service, the 4′ x 4′ x 1″ thick sheets combine structural strength with high thermal insulating values. Westemp is not subject to thermal shock and offers exceptionally low moisture absorption, providing protection to a continuous burn of 1200°F.
In addition to Fire Facilities’ steel training structures, Westemp can also be used in other buildings including steel, concrete, and masonry. This allows fire departments to extend the useful life of existing training facilities.
Westemp is formed from Tobermite Calcium Silicate with inert fillers and reinforcing agents. It does not contain asbestos, will not combust or produce smoke, is not affected by thermal shock or by hose stream pressure, gives off non-toxic fumes, and withstands a constant temperature of 1200°F. In addition, the panels are highly damage-resistant, non-corrosive and can be easily installed.
Under burn room conditions, Westemp panels will be affected by the heat and will react in ways that may be visible. In the range of 300 to 400 degrees, the panel will warp slightly toward the hot face. This causes stretching of the surface to a greater degree than the core. The result is likely to be seen as “spider web” cracks usually following a fastener line. This does not reduce the insulating values of the panel; and once formed, will not increase in size or number.
To avoid severe cracking, be sure to follow the installation instructions carefully. When a panel warps, there is a slight amount of movement. Our instructions outline how to attach the panels appropriately to avoid further cracking.
Another cause of cracked panels is burning at too high a temperature. We recommend never exceeding burning temperatures beyond 1200°F to ensure a safe and successful exercise.
Westemp panels absorb extremely little moisture. Samples from each production lot are totally submerged in water for 24 hours. At the end of this time, the normal increase in weight due to absorption is 4.75 to 5.5%. Panels will return to the dry weight after approximately four hours of air-drying. There is a limit to this reaction. Burn room roofs should be checked for leaks to prevent the presence of continued standing water on the panels. Unburned fuel should not be allowed to rest against wall panels and should be moved to the center of the room.
Westemp panels will not be damaged by sudden changes in temperature. Hot panels may be subjected to the application of cold hose streams. This will not cause any harm to the burn panel. It is not necessary to cool hot panels with hose streams, simply allow them to cool naturally.
Westemp Insulating Panels are easy to install in new or existing burn rooms. The panels are attached to the walls and ceiling of the burn room to protect the structure from damage due to heat generated during live fire exercises. All exposed surfaces must be covered with Westemp and each panel joint must be backed with Westemp battens to prevent the passage of heat though the joints. In addition to installing panels in the burn room, two panels must be attached to the ceiling immediately outside the interior burn room door.
Westemp is easily cut-trimmed with an electric or hand saw. Cutting may be dusty and the use of a dust mask is recommended.
Click here for a complete guide to installing Westemp Insulating Panels in FFI towers and concrete buildings.