What is a putty pad? Product Information
Putty pads are manufactured from a mouldable, non-setting, silicone-based intumescent polymer. They are designed to keep the fire resistance of plasterboard partitions where plastic or metal electric socket boxes have been fitted into them.
Although the putty pad is a relatively simple product and easy to install, extra care must be taken to ensure it is installed in the correct way as per the test evidence and manufacturer’s guidance.
Manufacturers have different levels of investment in their testing programmes and therefore, different scopes of application. Consequently, it depends on this tested scope of application whether a particular putty pad can be used in a single or double-skin wall, in a metal or plastic socket box, and at what spacing.
How does a putty pad work?
When electrical socket boxes are fitted into plasterboard partition walls, it is necessary to cut out a section of the fire-rated plasterboard which, therefore, breaks the integrity of the wall and increases the risk of fire and smoke passing through to the next compartment.
Building compartmentation is a vital component of passive fire protection. Every penetration that breaks the compartmentation of a fire-rated boundary must be adequately firestopped.
If it is not correctly firestopped, then the building will be non-compliant, escalating the risk of destructive fire.
Putty pads help maintain the compartmentation of a building. In the event of a fire, the intumescent material of the putty pad will react to the heat by swelling, increasing in volume whilst subsequently, decreasing in density.
This reaction forms a robust carbonaceous char, which is a solid material that is emitted from a carbonaceous material during the early stages of combustion.
This char prevents the passage of fire and smoke by essentially plugging the hole that is left behind by the melted socket boxes.
What properties do putty pads have?
Putty pads are widely accepted as being hassle free and easy to install. As well as their fire protection properties, putty pads have a good acoustic performance. They help reduce room-to-room noise transfer. Because of this, they are not solely used for firestopping, but also for soundproofing rooms.
Putty pads also make a substantial contribution to the reduction of air leakage in buildings, lowering energy costs and carbon emissions.
They are highly versatile. This means that because of their non-setting properties, their shape can be changed. As a result, they can fit into a wide variety of spaces.
Further to this, putty pads have a long service life. They are extremely reliable; the material will not dry out and crack over time. They also are water-resistant which prevents any further damage to the product, such as mould growth.
It is always important to check with the relevant manufacturer about their tested scope of application and to utilise their guidance when it comes to the installation process.