ROOM FIRE TEST FOR WALL AND CEILING MATERIALS
(See Chapter 35, California Building Code.)
STATE FIRE MARSHAL
Authority: Sections 13143, 13146.1, Health and Safety Code
Reference: Sections 13108, 13143, 13146.1, Health and Safety Code
- Tests and listings by approved testing agency. Test data for wall and/or ceiling materials or assemblies investigated and tested in accordance with the Standard for Safety established by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., UL 723C, “Investigation for the Classification of Wall and Ceiling Interior Finish Materials and Assemblies Using a Room Fire Test,” will be acceptable for evaluation against this standard, provided all instrumentation data required by this standard is incorporated in the test and report.
- Test simulation. The test simulates a fire in the comer of an 8-foot by 12-foot compartment containing a single open doorway; this can be used to evaluate the relative performance of specific wall, ceiling and floor materials or assemblies when they are used together in the same relationship within an enclosure, in addition to simulating the manner in which they will be used.
- Materials considered. The test may be used for evaluating wall, ceiling and flooring finish materials and assemblies, including panels, tiles, boards, sprayed or brushed coatings, etc.
FIRE AND SMOKE MEASUREMENTS AND PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD
- The total heat flux incident at the center of the floor.
- A characteristic upper level gas temperature in the test compartment.
- Fire spread potential. The potential for the spread of fire to objects outside the compartment of origin is evaluated by the measurement of the total rate of heat release of the fire.
- Smoke measurements. Measurements of the rate of production of carbon monoxide and visible smoke are taken.
- Photographic record. The overall performance of the test specimen is to be visually documented by full color photographic records. Videotaping of the complete fire test may be done as an alternate to the continuous photographic record. Such records may show when each area of the test specimen becomes involved in the fire.
The report shall include the following items:
- Material description. The name, thickness, density and size of the material shall be listed, along with other identifying characteristics or labels.
- Materials mounting and conditioning.
- Layout of specimens and attachments in test room.
- Relative humidity and temperature of the room and the test building prior to and during the test.
- The fuel gas flow to the ignition burner and its calculated rate of gross heat output.
- The total incident heat flux at the center of the floor shall be reported for each heat flux gage as a function of time starting one minute prior to the test.
- The temperature of gases in the room, the doorway, and in the exhaust duct shall be reported for each thermo-couple as a function of time starting one minute prior to the test. The temperature recorded by the thermocouple in the duct will be used in the required calculation.
- The volumetric flow rate of the gas in the duct shall be calculated from Equation 12 in Appendix 12-8-1A and reported as a function of time starting one minute prior to the test.
- The oxygen concentration in the analyzer shall be reported as a function of time starting one minute prior to the test.
- The total rate of heat production shall be calculated from the measured oxygen and carbon dioxide and/or carbon monoxide concentrations, and the temperature and volumetric flow rate of the gas in the duct.
- The product of the volumetric flow rate of the gas in the duct and the carbon monoxide concentration at the specified location in the combustion hood system shall be reported as a function of time after the start of the test.
- A transcription of the visual, photographic, audio and written records of the fire test shall be provided. The records shall indicate the time of ignition of the wall and ceiling finishes, the approximate location of the flame front most distant from the ignition source, at intervals not exceeding 15 seconds during the fire test, the time of flashover, and the time at which flames extend outside the doorway. In addition, still photographs taken at intervals not exceeding 15 seconds for the first three minutes, beginning at the start of the test and at every 30 seconds for the remainder of the test shall be supplied. Photographs showing the extent of the damage of the materials after the test shall also be supplied. The camera settings, film speed, and lighting used shall be described.
- A report on the pretest calibration conducted in Section 12-8-113.
- Report on the barometric pressure at time of test.
- A complete discussion of the criteria. This shall include all calculations and references to other data used to satisfy the criteria presented in Section 12-8-115.
Samples of the test material, both in its original (untested) and post-tested conditions, shall be retained by the testing agency. All samples shall be retained by the testing agency for a minimum period of three years from the date of the test. All samples shall measure 4 inches by 4 inches by the sample thickness. Two samples of the material in its original pretest condition shall be retained. These samples shall be taken from the same material lot used for the test samples. Post-test samples from the test shall include one each, from the geometric center of each wall panel and the ceiling panel, and one each from the following locations:
- The top, mid-height and bottom of each wall along the vertical centerline of each wall panel.
- The quarter points of the ceiling, in those cases in which the test material was applied to the ceiling.
All samples shall be clearly identified as to the material, test date and their location within the room.
SUMMARY OF METHOD AND HEAT SOURCE
- Summary of method. The test involves an ignition source exposure of the wall, ceiling and/or floor lining materials or assemblies as they would be incorporated in actual safety cell installation.
IGNITION SOURCE AND LOCATION
- Burner location. The top surface of the burner through which the gas is supplied shall be located horizontally, 12 inches off the floor, and the burner enclosure shall be in contact with both walls in a corner of the room opposite from the door. The edge of the diffusion surface shall be within 1 inch of the wall.
- Gas supply. The gas supply to the burner shall be propane and shall produce a heat source as outlined in Section 12-8-105 (b). The flow rate shall be metered throughout the test. The burner shall be so designed that it can be set at the flow rates required to produce the gross rates of heat release as specified in Section 12-8-105 (b).
- Ignition. The burner may be ignited by a pilot burner or a remote controlled spark igniter.
COMPARTMENT DIMENSIONS AND CONSTRUCTION
- Doorway. There shall be a 30-inch ± 0.25-inch × 80-inch ± 0.25-inch doorway in the center of one of the 8-foot by 8-foot walls, and no other wall or ceiling openings that will allow ventilation.
- Wall construction. The wall containing the door shall be of calcium silicate board of 46 pcf density and 0.5 inch nominal thickness. As an alternative to the calcium silicate board, 0.5-inch thick gypsum wallboard may be used. The door frame shall be constructed to remain unchanged during the test period to a tolerance of ± 1 percent in height and width.
- Compartment construction. The test compartment may be a framed structure or a concrete block structure. If self-supporting panels are tested, a separate exterior frame or block compartment may not be required.
- Floor materials. The floor of the test compartment shall be noncombustible as defined by ASTM E 136.
SPECIMEN MOUNTING AND TEST MATERIAL SIZE
- Specimen mounting. The specimens (e.g., the ceiling and wall materials whose condition is being tested) shall be mounted on a framing or support system comparable to that intended for their field use, using backing materials, insulation, or air gaps, as appropriate to the intended application and representing a typical value of thermal resistance for the wall system.
- Test material size. In the test, the ceiling material shall cover the entire ceiling if such an end use application is anticipated and the wall material shall cover three of the side walls, but not the wall containing the door. The wall and ceiling materials shall be mounted in the same wall-ceiling relationship in which they are intended for use, and it therefore may be necessary to actually construct a section of a prototype padded safety cell.
FIRE COMPARTMENT ENVIRONMENT
AMBIENT CONDITIONS IN TEST BUILDING AND FIRE COMPARTMENT
- Ambient conditions in test building. The ambient temperature in the test building at any location outside the fire compartment shall be above 40°F, and the relative humidity shall be less than 75 percent for the duration of the test.
- Ambient conditions in fire compartment. The ambient temperature in the fire compartment measured by one of the thermocouples specified in Section 12-8-112, Item 2., D., shall be within the range of 65°F to 75°F for at least 16 hours prior to the test.
- Humidity. The ambient relative humidity in the fire compartment for 16 hours prior to the test shall be within the range of 50 ± 5 percent. This may require the use of a humidifier or dehumidifier.
The following are the minimum requirements for instrumentation for this test:
Note: Added instrumentation may be desirable for further information.
- Capacitance-type transducers have been found to be the most stable for this application.
- The bidirectional probe is specified rather than the pilot-static tube in order to avoid problems of clogging with soot.
- Duct oxygen concentration specification. A stainless steel gas sampling tube shall be located 13 feet downstream from the entrance to the duct, to obtain a continuously flowing sample for determining the oxygen concentration of the exhaust gas as a function of time. A suitable filter and cold trap shall be placed in the line to remove particulates and water. The oxygen analyzer shall be of the paramagnetic or polarographic type and shall be capable of measuring the reduction in oxygen concentration over the range of 0.21 down to 0.15 with an accuracy of ± 2 percent in this concentration range. The signal from the oxygen analyzer must be within 5 percent of its final value in 30 seconds after introducing a step change in composition of the gas stream flowing past the inlet to the sampling tube.
- Duct carbon dioxide concentration specification. The gas sampling tube defined in Section 12-8-112, Item 5, or an alternate tube in the same location, shall provide a continuous sample for the measurement of the carbon dioxide concentration with an analyzer which has a range of 0 to 20 percent and a maximum error of 2 percent of full-scale. The total system response time between the sampling inlet and the meter shall be no greater than 30 seconds.
- Duct carbon monoxide concentration specification. The gas sampling tube defined in Section 12-8-112, Item 5, or an alternate tube in the same location, shall provide a continuous sample for the measurement of the carbon monoxide concentration with an analyzer which has a range of 0 to 10 percent and a maximum error of 2 percent of full-scale.
CALIBRATION AND DOCUMENTATION OF IGNITION SOURCE AND TEST EQUIPMENT
A calibration test shall be performed prior to and within 30 days of any fire test. The calibration test, to last for15 minutes, shall use the standard ignition source with inert wall and ceiling materials (calcium silicate board of 46 pcf density and 0.5-inch thickness. The following quantities shall be reported:
- Once the burner is activated, the output of all instruments normally used in the test is to be measured and data recorded as a function of time.
- The time history of the total heat flux at the wall location.
- The maximum extension of the burner flame as recorded by still color photographs of 0.1 second exposure time taken at a minimum of 30-second intervals, or more often if it is changing rapidly. These shall be taken with a camera operating in the “operative mode” with the camera set to the standard ASA ratings of the film.
- The temperature and velocity profiles across the duct cross-section at the location of the bidirectional probe if one is used. These profiles shall be used to determine the factor “k” in Equation 12, Appendix 12-8-1A.
The following paragraphs describe the steps in the test procedure:
- Establish an initial volumetric flow rate of 1,000 cfm through the duct if a forced ventilation system is used. If a forced ventilation system is used, increase the volume flow rate through the duct to 5,000 cfm when the oxygen content falls below18 percent.
- Turn on all sampling and recording devices and establish steady state baseline readings for at least one minute.
- Ignite the gas burner and start the clock simultaneously. Increase gas flow rate in steps as indicated in Section 12-8-106 (c).
- Take 35 mm color slides at 15-second intervals during the first three minutes and at 30-second intervals thereafter to photographically document the growth of the fire.
- Provide a continuous voice or written record of the fire, which will give times of all significant events such as flame attachment to the wall, flames out of the doorway, flashover, etc.
- The ignition burner shall be shut off at 15 minutes after initiation of the test and the test terminated at that time unless safety considerations dictate an earlier termination.
- Photograph and verbally describe the damage after the test.
FLASHOVER AND SMOKE
- The average ceiling gas temperature, as determined by averaging the temperature at the center and quarter point thermocouples, reaches or exceeds 1112°F.
- The total heat flux at the floor, as determined by either of the total heat flux meters mounted in the geometric center of the floor, reaches or exceeds a value of 1.761 Btu/ft.2/sec.
- Visible flaming extends from the doorway of the test compartment.
- Smoke. Materials meeting the acceptance criteria of this standard shall have a smoke density rating no greater than 75 when tested in the thickness intended for use by UBC Standard 26-5, or when tested in accordance with UBC Standard 8-1.
All materials shall be provided with a manufacturer’s label or other permanent marking clearly identifying the manufacturer label or other permanent marking clearly identifying the manufacturer, the product and model numbers (or brand name). Materials approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal shall be marked as required by Section 1.58, Title 19, C.A.C.
IGNITION SOURCE RATE OF HEAT RELEASE
PROGRAM FOR TESTS OF SAFETY CELL PADDING MATERIALS
|ELAPSED TEST TIME (Min)||BURNER GROSS RATE|
OF HEAT RELEASE (KW)