An Interview with 3M’s Ryan D. Fenstermaker
To contain fires in large commercial buildings in the New York region, contractors and developers must provide barriers that prevent the spread of smoke and fire. 3M solutions are well-suited to the task. When installed correctly, 3M’s code-compliant products contain the spread of fire, smoke, and toxic gases. All of its products are also supported with world-class training and technical expertise.
3M offers a broad, innovative line of firestopping materials, including:
- Caulks, putties, sealants, and foams
- Large-opening solutions for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) penetrations and membrane applications
- Protective wrap products including flexible duct wrap and endothermic mat products for fire-resistant duct, critical electrical circuits, and structural steel applications.
- Materials to make construction joints fire, smoke, and sound resistant, including watertight sprays, caulks, sealants, and tapes for interior construction joint and perimeter/curtain wall applications
3M’s Product Line is Always Evolving and Improving
Ryan D. Fenstermaker, a 3M firestopping consultant and Account Executive for the Northeast territory, says that the product line is constantly evolving and improving. “There have been advancements in intumescent products,” he notes, “that expand in reaction to heat, which helps maintain the integrity of the fire-rated floor and wall assemblies. These are necessary for many types of penetrating items, especially combustible ones. There are also advancements in things like flexible wraps that protect critical infrastructure.”
3M has been involved in passive fire protection for more than 30 years. “It started by offering a few different sealants and wraps, some of which were for the nuclear and telecom industries,” Fenstermaker says. “The firestopping industry was born out of the need to protect critical infrastructure and risk reduction. Back in the 1980s, there was a fire at one of the largest switching systems in Illinois. That facility processed more than 3.5 million calls each day, and when a fire started, it spread through the facility quickly, resulting in a two-week stop in phone service. That fire really highlighted the need for better fire and smoke containment.”
This fire was one of the events that drove stricter building codes for telecom and energy. Those improvements were effective and were then added to the commercial building code requirements.
3M’s involvement started out with a couple of sealant and protective products and then developed into a wide assortment of firestop products. 3M’s offerings can be divided into three primary applications, including:
- Penetrations to restore the integrity of walls and floors in the areas where mechanical items go through them.
- Protective wrap systems which include duct wrap and endothermic mat products for fire-resistant duct
- Joint and wall applications which include a portfolio of fire, smoke and sound resistant, watertight sprays, caulks, sealants, and tapes.
Fenstermaker has been working for 3M since 2002. He’s consulted on many big projects in the New York region. “One that stands out,” he notes, “is 50 Hudson Yards, part of the Hudson Yards development area of Manhattan. 3M firestopping was also a part of the redevelopment of the World Trade Center. We’ve been involved in every sports stadium built in the tri-state area, including Yankee Stadium, Red Bulls Arena, and Prudential Center. We’ve also worked on big infrastructure projects like the East Side Access Project and the redevelopment of Penn Station.
3M and Metro Work Together to Solve Customer Challenges
3M maintains a close relationship with Metro Interior Distributors in Long Island. Fenstermaker emphasizes, “I like working with Metro. I often work with Brian McMenamin and Caroline Sutherland. Sometimes I help with problem-solving when contractors need assistance, and I then work with Metro to find a quick solution. I also go out into the field to solve problems for the end-users.”
Metro Interior Distributors is proud to carry a wide range of 3M firestopping products, including solutions for a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications such as grease ducts, ventilation air ducts, return air plenums, emergency circuits, structural steel, and more.
Metro stocks many 3M firestopping products, including;
- 3M Fire Barrier Sealant FD 150+ for construction joints, piping, and cables.
- 3M Fire Barrier Sealant CP25 WB+ for HVAC systems.
- 3M Fire Barrier Sealant IC 15WB designed for CPVC piping.
- 3M Interam Endothermic Mat for a variety of applications.
- 3M FireDam Spray 200 firestopping coating for fire-rated construction joints, including head-of-wall, wall-to-wall, floor-to-floor, and perimeter joints.