Life Safety

When a Score of “Zero” Means an “A”

When 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