FAQ – BASIC CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE IN FIBRE CEMENT INDUSTRY

GENERAL

What is fibre cement?

Fiber cement (FC) is a highly durable composite material made from Portland cement, ground sand, cellulose fiber, selected additives and water. It contains no asbestos, glass fibers or formaldehyde. Our products enjoy the benefits of cementitious products (they resist fire, moisture, rotting, insects) while providing the workability and ease of installation compare to wood (they can be nailed and saw cut). They are regarded as being friendly to the environment and are extremely low in maintenance.

What is the type of cellulose fibre used in making PRIMA boards?

HCI uses cellulose fibre originated from Radiata Pine species. The fibre is imported from New Zealand. This fibre is identical to the cellulose fire in the paper industry.

Can HCI source the fibre locally?

No, because cellulose fibre available in Malaysia does not have the required specific property that provide the bending strength of the board.

What does “autoclave” mean?

“Autoclave” is an important process in making FC boards. Essentially, it is a process where “green boards” are fed into curing chamber (like a giant pressure cooker/ steamer). The temperature is kept at 180oC and the pressure is maintained at 8 bars. The entire autoclaving process takes about 16 hours. Upon completion, boards will be fully cured. Under natural condition, cementitious product will take 28 days for full curing.

Autoclave machine

HANDLING & STORAGE

How do I cut FC board?

For boards up to 6mm thick, use Score & Snap knife.
Alternatively, use power assisted cutting tool fitted with tungsten carbide tipped /diamond tipped circular saw.

Scoring Knife

Circular saw

Why should PRIMA FC boards be kept dry prior installation?

Installation of wet boards is not recommended because upon drying off, boards will likely shrink and cause unsightly appearance on the finished wall. Wet boards will cause delay in board installation progress as they need to be dried before installation.

How do I finish the PRIMA board surface?

External boards must be painted as soon as possible after installation. You can use exterior grade water-based quality acrylic paint. Always refer to paint manufacturer for painting instruction. When applied internally, use interior grade water-based paint. In wet area, it is suitable to apply tile over the PRIMA board.

Can I use wood stain finishing (i.e. shellac) especially on PRIMAplank?

Wood stain finishes are generally formulated to enhance the grain of natural timber products. These coatings are normally available in solvent-based and should not be applied onto FC products. Use only water-based wood stain coating formulated for FC products.

Can I use normal cement/ sand mortar to attach tiles onto PRIMAliner?

No. Tiles must be applied using flexible tile adhesive manufactured for adhering tiles onto FC board.

Does PRIMA board needs to apply with waterproofing in wet areas?

YES. The surface needs to be applied with water proofing even though the board is water resistance especially those areas which intend to stick with tiles.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

What type of support is available to the commercial Architects & Quantity Surveyors?

Brochures, architectural & BQ specification guidelines, CAD files and installation instructions which are available in either website or hardcopy. Upon request, we also provide typical details tailor-made for specific project needs, commonly referred as “Customised Design Solution” (CDS).

What kind of information is needed for CDS (Customized Design Solution) preparation?

Interested party should submit the relevant information such as artist impression, hand sketches, general details where our products/ systems are intended to be applied.

What type of the technical support which is not covered/ provided?

We do not provide structural calculation on other complementary items such as the design of mild steel frame or light gauge steel frame that support fibre cement application. We also do not provide services related to Profession Engineer (PE) endorsement. Apart from that we do not provide full time on site supervision for running projects.

What type of warranty is available on your products?

We provide standard product warranties of up to 3 years. A copy of the warranty can be provided upon request.

BY LAWS & CERTFICATION

What is Uniform Building By-laws (UBBL) Malaysia?

A reference book containing rules/ regulations/ requirements related to construction of buildings. Example – Classification of building material (i.e. Class O, Class 1 to Class 4) is covered in Clause 204.

Does HCI’s Fibre Cement have any ISO certification?

Yes. PRIMA fibre cement flat sheet is ISO 8336 certified which gives the acceptance of conditions for their use in one or more of the following applications:

External wall and ceiling finishes; internal wall and ceiling finishes; internal and external backing sheets

Which product manufacturing standard & certificate does HCI is complying with?
  • Malaysian Standard: MS 1296 – 2010 Fibre-cement flat sheets – Product specification and test methods (First revision)

  • Australian Standard: AS/NZS 2908.2

  • International Standard Organization: ISO 8336 – Fibre-cement flat sheets

  • ASTM International: ASTM 1135

Class ‘O’ Certificate

How to qualify for Class ‘O’?

Under the UBBL Malaysia 1984, Clause 204, a material is classified as meeting the “Class ‘O’ – Surface of no flame spread” requirement if when tested to BS 476 Part 6, has an Index of Performance not exceeding 12 and a subindex (i) not exceeding 6.

What does BS 476 Part 6 measure/ evaluate?

It provides a comparative measure (expressed as Fire Propagation Index) of the contribution to the growth of fire made by an essentially flat material, composite or assembly. Best possible result is “0”.

Full description of the standard – BS 476 Fire tests on building materials and structures Part 6. Method of test for fire propagation for products

Why Class O?

UBBL states “…… the material of which the wall, ceiling or soffit is constructed, shall comply with the following requirements: Class O. Surface of no flame spread.”

Who issue the Class ‘O’ certificate?

BOMBA. Upon request from manufacturers. SIRIM test reports on the test criteria are required prior to the BOMBA issuance of Class 0.

Why Class O certificate is important?

This certificate serves as evidence which attached to C1/C2/C3 BOMBA forms and to be submitted when applying for CF (certificate of Fitness for Occupation). Without the certificate, the project will be deemed not having the class 0 materials for the respective application, hence CF will be not be issued.

Who provides these C1/C2/C3 BOMBA forms?

HCI’s Technical Department is responsible to fill up the C1 form. C2 and C3 forms must be filled by the contractor and architect respectively.

What type of information is required for filling up the C1 form?

The following information is required:-

1. Project Title
2. HCI product name/ Size/ Quantity/Delivery Order
3. BOMBA submission reference number
4. Name/ Address of the requestor

Can HCI fill up the C2 & C3 forms?

If required, HCI can also assist to fill up C2 & C3 forms but the relevant information must be provided. Nevertheless, the contractor and architect have to sign/ chop at the relevant section, hence the following info has to be obtained:-
1. Contractor’s name & Address for C2 form
2. Architect’s name & Address for C3 form

Does PRIMA product listed in IKRAM?

Yes. IKRAM is an annually published reference book containing listing of locally manufactured building materials. Being listed in this publication is a pre-requisite for qualifying of a product to be used in government projects. This exercise is in line with the Ministry of Finance’s directive – “Arahan Perbendaharaan (AP) 169.2” forming part of the content of “Surat Pekeliling Perbendaharaan Bil. 7 Tahun 2002”. One can lodge a report to IKRAM if any of the government project site known to have used imported products without consent from MOF.

FRAME TERMINOLOGY

The diagram below shows some essential framing components related to FC applications in a building

PRIMA WALL SYSTEMS

What is Drywall?

A wall constructed using framing system, clad (on both sides of framework) with lining board. These are the basic component of a ‘drywall’ building system

1. Building boards, such as PRIMAflex or PRIMAliner

2. Framework constructed using Timber or Steel

3. Fixing accessories, screws/ nails, e.t.c.

For drywall application, we supply PRIMAflex, PRIMAliner & PRIMAplank

PRIMAflex

PRIMAliner

PRIMAplank

Do I need to use special screw for fixing PRIMA boards to steel frame?

Installation FC boards does not require special screws. In Malaysia, HCI supplies PRIMA Self Embedding Head Wing-Tek screw as part of the accessories.

PRIMA Fastener S.E.H Wing-Tek Screw

Can I use gypsum board screws to fix PRIMA FC boards?

No. These screws were not designed for fixing FC boards. The screw head is smooth and not equipped with ‘serration’ (sharp saw-like ribs). Thus, screw heads will not flush properly with the board surface or embedded in the FC board. 

Does HCI supply steel farming as well?

Yes. Please consult HCI for recommended specification to meet the required performance.

PRIMA C-Studs

PRIMA U-Track

What tools do I need for installation of PRIMA board?

1)Hammer for driving nails (fixing to timber frame)

2) Power assisted screw driver (fixing to steel frame). Manual fixing is not recommended

What are the types of sealant suitable for sealing gaps along board joints and structure edges?

Use Polyurethane (PU) or Modifies Silicon (MS) sealant that is compatible with cementitious products. Sealant must be flexible and paintable.

Which type of jointing compoud is suitable to flush the boards joint & screw points?

You can use PRIMA Jointing Compound Plus that suplied by HCI. The compound has a natural cementitious component which is compatible with fibre cement boards. It is not preferbable to use gypsum based compound for flush jointing process.

PRIMA Jointing Compound Plus

Ready mixed gypsum based compound

Powder form stopping compound

IBS

What is IBS?

IBS refers to building systems that have the following attributes:-
(These are the principles on IBS Score)

1. Prefabrication and pre-cast components

2. Off-site production

3. Standardized component (open building system)
4. Repeatability

5. Modular coordination concept; MS1064

IBS Score Assessment

1. Structural system – 50%
2. Wall system – 20%
3. Other simplified saving construction solution – 30%
Objectives :
– Reduce labour dependency

– Value for money
– Consistent quality
– Speed

Does HCI have IBS products?

Yes – We offer 2 types of wall systems, PRIMA Drywall & Solidwall.

How much IBS point do HCI’s systems contribute to IBS score?

HCI IBS wall systems have an IBS factor of 1.0. Maximum possible score for wall element is 20 points. Assuming 70% of the total wall area is fabricated using PRIMA IBS System, the IBS score would be calculated as follows –

= IBS factor x Max. possible score x % of wall area using PRIMA IBS
= 1.0 x 20 points x 70% usage —- 14 points

How would IBS relevant to HCI?

For government projects, the minimum IBS score needed to be achieved is 70 points. HCI Wall systems can contribute to the achievement of maximum 20 points on IBS scoring.

What other wall systems that fulfil the IBS requirement?

Example of IBS wall systems include – masonry block work (IBS factor = 0.5), pre-cast concrete panel (IBS factor = 1), other drywall solutions such as gypsum board drywall (IBS factor = 1). For more information can contact CIDB IBS Centre.

Who assess or provide certification to IBS suppliers/ manufacturers?

Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia.

What is a Registered IBS System Provider (RISP)?

RISP is an initiative by JKR (Specialised Services Div., Civil, Structural and Bridge Engineering Branch) to register IBS suppliers that involved in manufacturing & supplying structural building components such as beams, columns and floor slabs. It is an additional registration requirement for government jobs

Is HCI listed as registered RISP?

No. We only supply non-structural wall systems, also known as non-load bearing wall.

OTHER RELATED FAQ

What is MSDS?

MSDS is an abbreviation of Material Safety Data Sheet. This is a document containing information about the composition of a product, precautionary measure when handling the products, etc. A copy of MSDS for PRIMA products can be produced upon request. May refer to HCI Technical Services Department or R&D Dept.