November 14, 2016

When a Score of “Zero” Means an “A”

Steiner Tunnel TestWhen evaluating building materials for fire safety, many factors including ignition temperature, smoke toxicity and flame-spread are considered. Flame-spread, used to describe the surface burning characteristics of building materials, is one of the most tested fire performance properties of a material. The best known test for developing this rating is the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Test Method E-84, commonly known as the tunnel test.

The tunnel test measures how far and how fast flames spread across the surface of the test sample. In this test, a sample of the material 20 inches wide and 25 feet long, is installed as ceiling of a test chamber, and exposed to a gas flame at one end. The resulting flame spread rating (FSR) is expressed as a number on a continuous scale between 0 and 100.

The Bautex Block Wall System scored 0 on the test and was determined to be a Class A material, meaning that it is top of class when it comes to fire safety.

The ASTM E-84 test was performed by QAI Laboratories, Inc. at its fire testing lab in Tulsa, OK. QAI is a third-party testing, inspection and certification organization that confirmed tests performed on the Bautex Block Wall System were conducted properly. As building codes evolve to require more energy efficient building envelopes, builders and architects need safer building materials such as Bautex Block that improve a wall’s fire-resistance, because some insulated wall systems and materials may be hazardous under extreme heat or flame.

All of the product test data for Bautex Block can be found online.

Image Source: © Mohammedarshad86 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0