Fire & Flammablity Testing

Specific Test List

INTERIOR FINISH (WALLCOVERINGS)Download PDFDownload

ASTM E 84 TUNNEL TEST (All Products)

test sample size PERFORMANCE TIME
Rigid Materials: 23 ± 1" x 24' x 4" MT 1 - 2 weeks
Flexible Materials: 4 yards x 48" width

NFPA 265 ROOM CORNER (Textiles & Vinyls)

test sample size PERFORMANCE TIME
Screening Test 3 yards x 48" minimum
OR
2 panels: 2' x 8'
10 - 14 days
Fully Lined Room Test 25 yards
OR
8 panels: 4' x 8'
21 days

NFPA 286 ROOM CORNER (All Products Other than Textiles & Vinyls)

test sample size PERFORMANCE TIME
Screening Test 3 yards x 48" minimum
OR
2 panels: 2' x 8'
10 - 14 days
Fully Lined Room Test 25 yards
OR
8 panels: 4' x 8'
21 days
  • MT = Maximum Thickness

DEFINITION AND SUMMARY OF TESTS

DEFINITION

"Interior Finish" as defined by the building codes, is any product that is applied to the interior surfaces of walls or ceilings. It also includes the surfaces of fixed or moveable partitions.

The model building codes are rather clear when the regulated product is a traditional wallcovering used in sprinklered occupancies. In most cases, the ASTM E84 test should be acceptable to the local code official.

The NFPA 286 Corner Fire Test is mandatory for the following products even when the occupancy is sprinklered:
  • Cellular Plastics
  • Cellular Foam (Either with or without coverings as applicable)
  • Polypropylene
  • High Density Polyethylene
  • Other Products
In addition to the above enumerated items, there are many products in the marketplace which sometimes cannot be envisioned by the codes.

Such products could give off significant amounts of heat once ignited.

SGS Govmark suggests that all products with a thickness of 1 / 6” or greater be submitted to SGS Govmark for our evaluation and recommendation as to which test is appropriate.
With specific regards to cellular foams, some products which immediately come to mind are:
  • Upholstered Walls
  • Gym Mats (Even if they are designated for floor applications, there is always the potential that they will be used as wall mats)
  • Acoustical Insulation (Either covered or uncovered)

DISCUSSION

Brief Summary:
The material under test is held in the ceiling of the test tunnel. Therefore, the flame spread result is substantially a modified horizontal rate of burning. The test also reports smoke developed.
Code Requirement:
The ASTM procedure itself does not have a classification system; however, the building codes use the numbers generated by the test to set the classification scheme.

Generally, for public buildings, Class A is required.
Classification Flame Spread Index Smoke Developed
Class A: 0 - 25 450 or less
Class B: 26 - 75 450 or less
Class C: 76 - 200 450 or less

*NYC Smoke Development Requirement: Certain occupancies have maximums ranging from 25 – 100.

Some thermoplastic materials will have excess burning drips that form flaming pools. The excessive burning has a tendency to damage the test instrumentation or to cause extensive post-test cleaning to restore the instrumentation to its required state.

SGS GOVMARK RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REJECT SUCH MATERIALS OR TO OFFER AN ESTIMATE OF THE EXTRA COST THAT MIGHT BE INCURRED IN POST-TEST CLEANUP.

NFPA 265 and NFPA 286 Room Corner Fire Tests:

Brief Summary:
Wall materials are applied to the vertical test room walls to simulate actual on- site installation. This is in opposition to the ASTM E 84 test, which tests all products in the horizontal configuration, even if the actual installed product is in the vertical configuration. Ceiling materials are applied to the test room ceiling.
The NFPA 265 and 286 tests primarily measure the heat given off by the burning product, along with the amount of smoke released. As the test products are held in a vertical configuration, the results might be more indicative of potential fire hazard.
Test Application:
NFPA 265 specifically applies to textile and vinyl materials.
NFPA 286 applies to all other materials including cellular and foamed plastics, leathers, etc.
Code Requirement:
For these tests, the codes set forth maximum values.
Typically, in a fully lined room test, the following parameters apply:
  1. During the 40 kW exposure, flames shall not spread to the ceiling.
  2. The flame shall not spread to the outer extremity of the sample on any wall or ceiling.
  3. Flashover shall not occur.
  4. The Peak Heat Release rate throughout the test shall not exceed 800 kW.
  5. The Total Smoke Released throughout the test shall not exceed 1,000 m2.