Fire-resistant bags can be lifesavers. While it won’t protect you during fire incidents, it can protect your insurance claims, your money, your land title or other documents crucial to protect your property or wealth. But what makes fire-resistant bags immune to fire? Ever wonder what those ultra-sturdy fire-resistant bank bags are made of? Why it is so effective against heat and flames? Worry not because we’ve got you covered.
Fire-resistant bags are made of several layers of mixed materials reinforcing each other’s heat and fire repellent properties. The multi-layered lines and pockets of the bag help deflect the heat and prevent the bag from catching fire. Below is a list of materials most commonly used in fireproof document bags.
Asbestos has been used throughout history for its heat-resistant properties and was one of the most popular fireproofing materials until the early 1900s. It’s a flexible and inexpensive additive which can be molded into a range of fire-resistant products such as fire-resistant document bags or even roofing material for construction. Asbestos works well as a fireproof material because of its chemical properties – with a melting point of 1600 degrees Farenheit and lightweight character but still stronger than cotton, rayon or nylon, Asbestos is a top choice for fire-resistant products. In addition to its fireproof properties, Asbestos is also known for the following traits:
- Electrically non-conductive
- Widely sourced
- Stable and sturdy
- Easily blends with other materials
Nevertheless, asbestos is banned in many parts of the world and only a few manufacturers still use this type of material today. While it’s quite difficult to find asbestos-made products nowadays, some made-to-order fire-resistant bags may still have asbestos in them.
Silicone-coated fiberglass is a type of fabric that’s highly flexible and arguably provides the best protection and insulation from heat and fires. It is commonly used for fireproof document bags that are meant to protect critical papers from catching fire. With a service temperature rate of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, highly flexible fabric, this type of material is perfect for sewing and designing different types of fire-retardant products. Fiberglass cloth has been used since 1890s for dresses due to its very promising and varying uses and application. Although at the time, it was hard to make the material thin enough to be completely flexible and no reliable mass production method existed. It was only in the early 1930s that manufacturers began to weave fiberglass strands into cloth. This synthetic material proved to be remarkably strong while still being flexible enough to function like ordinary fabrics – easy to cut, sew and design as dresses among others.
Fiberglass cloth can still be more expensive compared to asbestos since even the commercial production process can be quite tedious. It starts with the manipulation of raw glass marbles. Using marbles allows manufacturers to mold and melt the fiberglass at a controlled rate
Aluminum Foil Interiors
Aluminum is perhaps the most commonly used metal after steel. It has obvious advantages and almost no disadvantages when it comes to usage and applicability. Aluminum is very lightweight but still poses strength while keeping its malleability intact. It is extremely heat resistant and can withstand up to 302 Fahrenheit and even in the coldest temperatures as well. Its excellent thermal properties allow for it to be used as secondary materials for linings and interior sidings in fire-resistant document bags.
Another fabric commonly used in fire-resistant document bags is polyester which is inherently a flame retardant. Polyester fabric never flares up upon exposure to fire or heat. As a specific type of textile, it usually contains polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It is a naturally occurring chemical derived from plants and insects and can be synthesized as in the case of polybutyrate. Polyester fibers are often interwoven with other types of cloth. The most commonly used type of polyester for its fire-resistant capacity are liquid crystalline polyesters which is also used in jet engines among other industrial applications.
The design of fire-resistant bags can range from the simplest bags to the more complex multi-layered ones with many zippered pockets. What’s common across all these bags is that it prevents fire damage. For example, some of the best designed fire-resistant document bags have zippers that are covered with aluminum or silicone flaps to help protect openings from fire damage. Some bags made for security purposes may even have locks to secure it from unwanted access.
These types of fire-resistant document bags may prevent documents from burning but extreme amounts of heat can still affect the materials inside. For example, a fire-resistant bag may stop a compact disc from burning from intense fire, but exposure to prolonged heat can still melt the compact disc. In addition, there are different types and intensities of fire which would affect how certain materials can resist the heat and the flame. For example, some weaker silicone grade covers or fewer strands of fiberglass material into the fire-resistant cloth can last through a quick fire in a car, but might not survive a factory conflagration where more chemicals may be involved and the fire lasts longer.
Fire-resistant document bags are commonly used to transport money and documents by business firms, banks and other financial institutions. Fire-resistant bank bags are often mandatory for handlers to ensure money in case of fires or when car accidents occur during transport. This is an added layer of protection on top of the fact that armored cars used to transport money from one place to another is already fireproofed in itself. In addition, fire-resistant bank bags may also include locks that secure the money from theft in typical carrying cases.
Whichever type of material used in your fire-resistant document bag of choice, it’s important to make sure that it suits your lifestyle and your needs. Fire-resistant bags have various designs depending on what type of document needs to be stored and protected. Industrial-grade fire resistance grades can be appropriate for corporate uses, but the simpler silicone fiberglass cloth (or even asbestos) can be better and less expensive for everyday practical use.