What you need to know about Construction Assemblies Tests: ASTM E84, NFPA 252, 257, 265, 286

Approved Standards and testing:

All approved materials and construction assemblies referenced in building codes are required to be manufactured to accepted methods or tested approved by agencies according to standardized testing, such as: ASTM International, NFPA,

ANSI, industry trade groups such as ASHRAE, or by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), such as UL (http://productspec.ul.com/)

Types of Construction assembly tests:

1. ASTM 119 building construction and material: evaluates an assemblies ability to prevent the passage of fire, heat, and hot gasses for a given amount of time; they assemblies are given a rating according to time: 1-4-hr rating, and for doors and other assemblies 20/30/45 minute rating

2. NFPA 252 door assemblies: evaluated the ability of a door assembly to resist the passage of flame, heat, and gases

3. NFPA 257 window and glass block assembly: prescribes specific fire and hose stream test procedures to establish a degree of fire protection in units of time

Types of Finish materials in building construction tests:

1. ASTM E84 / Steiner Tunnel Test surface burning characteristics of building materials: test samples in a narrow chamber that has a controlled flame at one hand. The result is a materials flame spread rating. Class A (I), B (II), C (III). Class A (I) is the most fire resistant.

2. NFPA 265 / Room Corner Test: sometimes required in addition to the ASTM E84 test for textile interior finishes or instead of it. It determines the contribution of interior textile to fire growth using a 8’W x 12’L x8’H 3-wall room

3. NFPA 286 evaluating contribution of wall and ceiling interior finish to room fire growth: it evaluates materials other than textiles and addresses displacement during the ASTM E84 test.

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