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Making sure that your building meets the current fire safety standards can feel complicated. A simple way to make sure that your project is compliant with the current standards is to use the right coating.
Below, we’ll explain how to test for fire safety, the current standards, and testing facilities. We will also go over why you should consider trying FlameOFF® Fire Barrier Paint to protect your project and meet the current standards. Read on to learn more.
What is ASTM E-84?
The ASTM E-84 is a test developed by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). It assesses the burning behavior of a material. This fire test provides comparative measurements of surface-level flame spread and smoke density.
Fire tests, like the ASTM E-84, were developed in response to historic fires. Several tragic fires led to research on combustion and fire safety. One of them was the 1942 Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire. There are now standards in place to help achieve fire safety.
The ASTM E-84 test is applicable to many industrial or commercial projects. Building renovations, maintenance, or development all need to meet certain standards. Make sure that your materials are ready for the ASTM E-84 test. See below to learn how.
When is the ASTM E-84 test required?
The requirements for the ASTM E-84 test differ based on the material. According to the International Building Code, the test is required for interior wall and ceiling finishes. The National Fire Protection Agency 101® Life Safety Code® also requires testing for interior wall and ceiling finishes.
What is a Steiner Tunnel Test?
The Steiner Tunnel Test is how the ASTM E-84 tests are performed. The Steiner Tunnel is a 24 x 24-inch steel box. A material’s burning behavior is tested in the Steiner Tunnel.
First, a sample of the material is placed in the tunnel. The sample is then monitored through a window on the side of the tunnel while it is exposed to forced air. At the end of the tunnel, two burners provide 89kW of energy. These burners adjust to the flame along the sample.
The outcome measurements of the Steiner Tunnel Test are the flame spread index (FSI) and smoke development index (SDI). The FSI and SDI are calculated with specialized software.
The FSI is a measure of the speed that flames progress across a material. FSI accounts for flame initiation and flame travel during the test.
The SDI measures smoke intensity during the test interval. SDI is obtained with a light obscuration meter. This measures the optical density of the smoke development. In other words, it gives a measure of how much light can travel through the smoke.
If you’re purchasing a fire resistant paint make sure you know the fire rating standard.
ASTM E-84 Ratings Explained
The ASTM E-84 test is ranked based on the FSI and the SDI described above. The rankings fall into three specific categories (Class A, B, or C). Class A is the highest ranking, and Class C is the lowest. In some cases, the rankings may be grouped numerically instead of alphabetically (e.g., Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3).
In each class, the largest acceptable SDI is 450. The FSI differs for each class. See a breakdown of the rankings below.
|Flame Spread Index||Smoke Development Index|
|Class A or Class 1||0 to 25||450 or lower|
|Class B or Class 2||26 to 75||450 or lower|
|Class C or Class 3||76 to 200||450 or lower|
It’s important to look for a protective coating with a Class A rating to ensure compliance with the ASTM E-84 standards. We recommend FlameOFF® Fire Barrier Paint as the #1 intumescent paint on the market today.
Not only is FlameOFF’s Fire Barrier Paint ASTM E-84 compliant, it’s also ASTM E-119 compliant, works on multiple materials (e.g. steel, wood, drywall), and is a low VOC formula that’s environmentally friendly.
What companies do ASTM E-84 testing?
There are several companies that do ASTM E-84 testing for you. See a summary of some of the most popular testing labs below.
- Intertek: This company is one of the most popular places for ASTM E-84 tests. Intertek is equipped with global accreditations and will ensure the appropriate testing for your materials. Intertek provides fire testing in several locations (Elmendorf, TX, York, PA, Coquitlam, BC Canada, and Shanghai, China). Learn more about Intertek here.
- Capital Testing and Certification Services: This organization offers a variety of fire testing services. They have accredited facilities to perform ASTM E-84 tests. Request their services here.
- VTEC Laboratories Inc.: This laboratory has provided commercial testing services since 1982. They are accredited to run fire testing. This laboratory will help you make sure that your materials meet current standards. Check out the ASTM E-84 testing services from VTEC Laboratories Inc. here.
- NGC Testing Services: This company is equipped to test both large and small-scale projects. They have offered testing services for over 55 years and will help you get nearly any material tested. The NGC Testing Services facility conducts tests compliant with ASTM standards. Get more information about their ASTM E-84 testing services here.
- Lab Test Certification Inc.: This international company provides accredited fire testing services for various materials. They are able to perform ASTM E-84 testing on your commercial or industrial project. See the full details of their fire testing services here.
Using a high-quality coating is a simple way to meet ASTM E-84 requirements. Try FlameOFF® Fire Barrier Paint to get a Class A ranking for your materials.