Sean Bentley - Sep 6, 2019

What is A2 ACM and its Fire Rated Capabilities?


A panel typically made up of a 70-75% inert mineral fibre and 25-30% combustible binding mixture will often be referred to as an “FR” product. However, it is important to note that the term “FR” be it “fire resistant”, “fire retardant”, “Plus” or any other variation on the wording, meets no set standard.

It is therefore imperative to check with your supplier what the mixture of combustible content is on a product specific basis, as this may also vary. “A2” will typically refer to a mixture of around 90-93% inert mineral and 7-10% combustible binder.

This is not as commonly used in South Africa as our testing standards cause A2 and FR to effectively fall into the same category for compliance.

Both of the above products are combustible as the core DOES NOT pass the AS1530.1 small scale test.

However, they can be considered not to spread fire if installed in the right configuration and can be fire engineered based on their full-scale performance. (Performance Solution)


FR or A2 panels can be used in Type A and Type B construction only if there is a full fire engineering report provided by a quality engineer, based on full-scale testing.

Note: In addition to the above, in Blend FR core panels need to be signed off by the Building Appeals Board on a project basis for determination of suitability prior to use.

FR and A2 panels can be used in Type C construction with no fire engineering required (unless there are bushfire requirements). For internal use, FR and A2 are generally fine.

This performance is defined by testing to the ‘room burn test’ ISO 9705 which provides a group rating of 1 to 4.

FR and A2 mostly achieve either a group 1 or a group 2 rating. Group 1 is fine for all internal applications, group 2 excludes fire escapes and fire isolated exits.

Make sure that you request a copy of the full test report including installation detailing as this testing cannot be transferred to different installation systems.

Written by Sean Bentley