Bautex Systems, LLC, a manufacturer of energy efficient wall systems for commercial construction, has earned high marks in key fire safety tests for the Bautex Block, a building product made from a specially formulated insulating composite material that utilizes recycled components. The Bautex Block is the primary component of the Bautex Wall System – a commercial concrete wall system that integrates strength, durability, energy efficiency and design flexibility at a cost that is competitive with traditional building methods.
QAI Laboratories conducted the ASTM E84-11, "Standard Method of Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials” test, which measures how quickly flames spread across a building material and the amount of smoke that is developed when the product ignites. During the 10-minute test where the Bautex Blocks were subjected to intense direct flame from gas burners, no flame spread was observed and extremely low smoke levels were detected. This resulted in a flame spread index of 0 and a smoke development index of 20, earning the Bautex Block the highest NFPA Class A and IBC Class A classifications.
At the same time, QAI Laboratories also conducted the NFPA 286, “Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Evaluating Contribution of Wall and Ceiling Interior Finish to Room Fire Growth” test, which determines how far flames spread and how much heat is generated during a fire in an actual building structure. To simulate typical built conditions, the 15-minute room corner burn test was first conducted with 5/8” gypsum drywall attached to the inside of the 8 foot by 12 foot room constructed of Bautex Block. To further prove the fire resistance qualities of Bautex Block, a second test was conducted on unfinished Bautex Block. In both tests, lab technicians observed extremely low heat release and temperature rise, and absolutely no flame spread, clearly meeting the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code® for both finished and unfinished walls.
“We knew the product would perform well in these fire tests, but we were very pleased to see that the Bautex Block far exceeded our expectations,” said David Sterne, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Bautex Systems. “The technicians at the lab were skeptical at first since 85% of our product is recycled foam plastic, but by the end of our week of testing, the cement-EPS formulation we developed for the Bautex Block proved to be highly effective in resisting the spread of flames and smoke in a simulated structure fire.”
Bautex Systems is committed to providing architects, engineers and building contractors with all the tools and data necessary to design and build structures that radically improve the built environment. Extensive product testing is just one way that Bautex exceeds the demands of design. Test reports, design tools and many other resources can be found at bautexsystems.com.