Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sandel?

Sandel is a textile fire barrier that simply does not burn. It is made from predominantly inorganic materials that are non-combustible.

What is Sandel made from?

Sandel is a textile made from Silicon Dioxide (sand) blended with other inorganic chemicals. This textile base is chemically inert and will not burn. This textile base is treated by our patented Sandel process that makes it resistant to cracking, breaking, or producing small inorganic fibrous particles. The Sandel treatment consists of a scientifically determined combination of safe and effective ingredients. These include various combinations of polymers, antifungal and antimicrobial agents, water, stain repellents, and flame retardants. These ingredients may include chemicals that produce a desired quality such as color, printability, permeability, etc. The high proportion of inorganic chemicals in Sandel enhances its ability to block fire, even when it is exposed to extremely high temperatures, and also minimizes smoke toxicity.

Is smoke from Sandel toxic?

Sandel, because it is made from mostly inorganic materials, produces very little smoke when it is in a fire. One of Sandel's heaviest products, Sandel 54504 (comparable to 50608), which contains more organic material than any other Sandel product, was tested according to Boeing Specification BSS 7239 under the conditions specified in ASTM E 662. The small amount of smoke it generated was analyzed for the presence of eight toxic gases. Of the eight gases, seven either were not detected or were detected at minimal levels. One gas, Carbon Monoxide, was detected. However, the level of Carbon Monoxide detected was less than 6% of the suggested allowable maximum concentration required to pass this test! All other grades of Sandel will produce even smaller amounts of toxic gases because they contain much less organic material than does Sandel 54504. Sandel typically has only a small fraction of the smoke toxicity found in other fire barrier materials.

What is the white smoke that appears when you burn Sandel?

The white smoke is caused by the decomposition of a small amount of the organic polymeric coating that surrounds and protects the individual Sandel fibers. Toxicity from this smoke is very low. (Please see previous question for details.)

Is Sandel safe to handle?

Sandel is not harmful to handle. Many manufacturers have worked with it successfully now for more than twelve years.

Does Sandel provide insulation?

Sandel protects from heat in a unique way. In many cases you can hold a piece of Sandel over a flame (with the flame against the Sandel) and hold your hand near the other face of the Sandel without becoming uncomfortable. Sandel is not an insulator in the usual sense, and it does not have a high "R value", but Sandel does keep the heat away!

How can I clean Sandel?

Sandel is easy to clean because of its inherently water and stain resistant finish. It can simply be wiped clean with water and a mild cleanser and/or disinfectant. Do not use cleaners containing abrasives or chlorine bleach. Sandel should not be cleaned using a mechanical washing machine or drier. Please see our bulletin containing recommendations for cleaning Sandel for more details.

How can I sew Sandel?

Sandel can be sewn with normal industrial sewing machines. It is important that you obtain and follow the recommendations in our bulletin on "Sewing Sandel". It is especially important that you use a non-flammable thread. Using the proper thread will help prevent the seams of your Sandel-based product from separating in a fire situation.

Can I weld Sandel?

Sandel can not be high frequency or sonically welded. Most grades of Sandel can not be heat welded. Sandel 50608 is an exception. It can be heat welded face to face. Other grades of Sandel can be heat welded by adding a suitable thickness of seaming tape. Ultrasonic welding should never be used with Sandel. Sewing is the most secure way to attach Sandel to itself. In some cases, seaming tapes may be desirable in addition to sewn seams to maintain impermeability.

Can I glue Sandel to other fabrics?

Yes you can glue Sandel to other fabrics. But many glues do not work well with Sandel. Those glues which do work well with Sandel may not maintain their integrity in a fire or may be flammable themselves. The use of glues or other fabrics with Sandel may affect the fire barrier properties of the composite in a fire.

Is Sandel classified as "fire resistant" or "fire proof" or "non-flammable"?

Sandel may be classified as a "non-flammable" material because it will not burn at temperatures up to 1,600°F. While one might consider such a fabric fire proof from a practical standpoint, no material can be truly fire proof. Fabrics classified as "fire resistant" (such as those treated with Pyrovatex) are treated to not burn, but tend to melt or disintegrate at relatively low temperatures. "Fire Resistant" fabrics are not fire barrier materials.

Can Sandel be laminated to other fabrics?

Sandel can be laminated to many fabrics, including most upholstery fabrics. Please consult Sandel International's technical department with specific questions regarding how best to laminate Sandel to other fabrics.

Is Sandel International ISO certified?

Yes, we have and maintain a Lloyd's Register of Quality Assurance for ISO 9001. We are also ANSI RAB Accredited.