FireCarb is a high quality expandable graphite product. Expandable graphite belongs to a group of products called intumescents; their main property is the ability to expand when heated.

FireCarb is based on a high quality Chinese crystalline flake graphite, it’s structure is in the form of layered sheets of carbon atoms. In a process known as intercalation, an acid solution is placed between the carbon layers. Following manufacture, the material is thoroughly washed and dried trapping the solutions within the platelets. The end result is a dry, pourable, clean material with minimal surface acidity.


FireCarb product uses

FireCarb in passive fire protection

FireCarb is primarily used as the active agent in intumescent passive fire protection products, where its significant expansion on heat exposure and pressure generation are ideally suited. Typical applications include door seals, pipe collars and wraps, fire pillows, intumescent liners for electrical fixing boxes and downlighters, and air transfer grilles and dampers. Modern construction methods increasingly rely on these products to compartmentalise buildings in the outbreak of a fire to contain the fire and restrict the spread of smoke and flames.

FireCarb from expandable graphite is mainly used as intumescent passive fire protection

FireCarb in intumescent coatings

Intumescent coatings for structural steelwork help prolong the integrity of the building in fire situations; the FireCarb forms a protective char slowing the
transmission of heat to the load bearing steel which would otherwise rapidly lose its strength.

FireCarb in bituminous roofing systems

When plastic and bituminous roofing is exposed to intense heat it will soften and melt resulting in dripping of the material. The addition of FireCarb greatly reduces this hazard as the char formed by the expanded graphite inhibits further combustion and helps to bind the molten polymer.

FireCarb in furniture foam

The action of FireCarb in seating foam is similar, with the graphite reacting to applied flame by forming a non-combustible ash and protecting the underlying foam from further combustion.

Other product uses

FireCarb finds application as a heat-activated low-density insulating material in the temperature control of molten metals. In the steelmaking process, FireCarb acts as an exfoliating medium in insulating compounds for the ladle and tundish.

FireCarb properties

Expandable graphite belongs to a group of products called ‘intumescents’; the main property of which is the ability to expand when heated. On exposure to heat the retained solutions within FireCarb produce a gas that expands and forces open the graphite platelets.

The tremendous expansion that expandable graphite offers (up to 350 x volume at 1000oC) makes it more effective than conventional intumescents. This expansion has the added benefit of creating high pressure, especially when mechanically restricted. At the same time an insulating carbonaceous char is formed which protects the substructure from the heat source.

Typically expansion starts at 170oC, and standard FireCarb grades demonstrate both a good onset of expansion at relatively low temperature and a high total volume of expansion.

Physical properties:

Expansion onset temperature (°C) 170
Carbon content (wt.%)
90 min.
pH value
Volatiles (%)
max. 12
Loose bulk density (kg/l) 0.45-0.50

FireCarb standard grades

The typical properties of the grades within the FireCarb range are as follows:

Grades                                    Expansion ml              Particle size

 300°C 80% > 300µm
275°C 80% > 300µm
250°C 80% > 300µm
220°C 80% > 300µm
220°C 80% > 300µm
85°C 80% > 300µm

Customised products are available upon request - these include delayed expansion (DE); high initial expansion (A); and modified pH (H) grades.

FireCarb packaging

Our FireCarb product range is available in paper sacks or big bags. Due to the products conditions no bulk solution is available.

Expandable graphite origin

LKAB Minerals use high quality Chinese expandable graphite for its FireCarb products.

Expandable graphite toxicology

A non-toxic, non-hazardous stable mineral. You can download the Safety Data Sheet in the section on the right hand side for further information.

Please contact us for datasheets on a single grade or further information on our FireCarb product range. You can find our sales contact by choosing your country in the upper right expert box of this page.

Product expert

Lee Woodings
Traded Sales Manager

Ask me a question. Contact information.


More information

  1. FireCarb Product Brochure.pdf

Safety data sheet

  1. FireCarb SDS
  2. More languages upon request.