Fire Bulkhead Sealing Principles

  • Fire Bulkhead Sealing Principles
  • Protection Objectives
  • Fire progression
  • Structural Fire Protection

Penetration seals enclose and seal pipes through walls, floors and casings and compensate movements from thermal expansion of pipelines, seismic displacements and ground settlements. They seal against high level of ground water, flooding, rain, air, fire spreading, transfer of radioactivity and splash water from fire water jet. Additionally, they absorb noise, vibration and pipe misalignment.

ditec`s fire protection bulkhead sealing offer fire resistance for 120 min for pipe penetrations through walls and ceilings of wall tubes up to NB 900 and medium pipes up to NB 600. DIN 4102, Section 11 states the following: Pipe penetration bulkheads must be designed such that fire and smoke are not spread through walls and ceilings during the period of fire resistance. The fire resistance period is the minimum duration, in minutes, for the prevention of fire spreading. 

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The German constitution describes fire protection as follows:

“Buildings and structures … must be placed, erected, modified and maintained such that order and public safety are not jeopardized, especially not the lives and health of the public. Buildings and structures must be built such that the occurrence and spread of fire and smoke is prevented, and must allow for effective extinguishing and the rescue of people and animals in the event of a fire.”

A fire can only occur when there is enough oxygen and combustible material, and an ignition source. During the smoldering phase, the energy released by a fire heats all surrounding material. If this material is combustible, it will ignite upon reaching the limit temperature. 

The fire behavior of the construction materials is of significance until the ignition point is reached. Afterwards, during what is called the blazing fire phase, the fire resistance and the fire behavior of the component design will determine the duration of a fire in a given space. The spread of the fire depends on the design of the construction components surrounding the fire area, such as walls and ceilings, as well as the pipe bulkheads in the fire walls or ceilings.

Structural fire protection cannot prevent the occurrence of fires, but ensures that a fire remains limited to the smallest possible area through the building’s design and fire protection measures. For this reason, stringent requirements are imposed, particularly on structural components that run through the entire structure (beyond the limits of the individual fire compartments), such as ventilation ducts, pipelines and electric cabling. In principle, no openings may be made in fire walls. However, if these are structurally unavoidable, the structural regulations of the German states stipulate that fire and smoke must not be able to spread to other floors or fire compartments in the event of fire. A simple system for preventing fire and smoke spreading through pipe penetrations through walls and ceilings is through the use of “fire protection bulkheads”. 

We have a system certified by the Building Inspectorate that can be used to create bulkheads using non-flammable pipes in fire walls or fire ceilings. These elastic seals accommodate axial and lateral pipeline movements against the wall or ceiling and ensure reliable bulkhead in the event of fire. Movements occur as a result of thermal pipeline expansions during plant operation or, in the event of a fire, because of additional pipeline expansions and the relative movement of the building with regard to the lines as a result of wind loads, building displacement or earthquakes.

Design & Planning

  • Design & Planning
  • Materials
  • Pipeline Eccentricity
  • Installation Seam
  • Fixing Types
  • Insulation
  • Pipeline Elbow

The wall / ceiling sealing membranes and wall / ceiling sealing expansion joints are classified under building materials class B2 (“normal flammability”) pursuant to DIN 4102, Section 1. Their fire behaviour is documented in the “General Building Supervision Certificates” issuesby the Materials Testing Institute in Braunschweig.

Elastic wall and ceiling seals are made using silicone rubber and are reinforced with non-flammable fabrics, depending on the design. In the event of a pressure differential between the fire compartments, the wall or ceiling sealer membranes or expansion joints can be additionally equipped with carrier fabrics. 

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The medium pipes rarely run precisely through the middle of the wall pipes. The position of the medium pipe relative to the wall pipe can easily be taken into account when manufacturing the wall and ceiling seals. This will help you avoid expensive pipeline adjustments, and allows for relaxed installation and to achieve its maximal movement capability. The narrowest distance between the medium pipe and wall pipe is referred to as the X measurement.

In general, seals are installed after the pipeline is laid, and therefore need to be delivered with an installation seam. Split wrap designs with a stepped installation seam allows for easy installation and is closed using a cold-vulcanizing silicone rubber glue. The position of the joint should be easily accessible to the fitter.

All fire bulkhead sealing are available in slip-on (type SS) or flanged (type FF) designs.

If possible, the seals are fixed to a protruding wall pipe and to the medium pipe using clamps. If no wall pipe is planned, the elastic seals can also be made with a flange and then attached to the wall using a clamping flange.

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Fixing Illustrations Table

Ring gap and ring gap insulation

The ring gap is the distance between the wall pipe and the medium pipe or sectional medium pipe insulation. According to the Building Supervisory Certification, a ring gap between 10 and 100 mm is required. Mineral wool insulation with a density of ≥ 120 kg/m3 in materials class A1 and with a melting point of > 1000 °C will prevent the temperature and flames from spreading to the next fire compartment.

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Our extensive experience with fire protection bulkheads has shown that pipeline elbows in the area of the bulkhead are often unavoidable. In principle, standard structural forms can be provided if certain kind of points are taken into consideration to the extent possible.

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Measurement & Installation

  • Measurement & Installation


Wall and ceiling seals are measured and manufactured after the pipeline is laid. This means that the location of the medium pipe with respect to the wall pipe and the position of the installation seam can be taken into account. The seals are dimensioned once the laid pipelines are in their final positions and the pipe insulation is complete at least in the area of the bulkhead. All the information relevant to their manufacture is listed on a form. Please note that each wall or ceiling face should be listed separately and that the opposing positions should be listed as Pos. 1 and Pos. 1A. We will take the measurements for you if desired.

Measurement Protocol



Our optimally equipped installation team will install wall seals for new construction or retrofitting activities; 
we can also appoint a field supervisor to train your workers and to support and monitor installation activities.