commARCH Sept/Oct 2021 Issue - Page 32

PASSING THE TEST

PASSING THE TEST

HOW EXACOR™ PANELS ARE TESTED FOR FIRE RESISTANCE
By Huber Engineered Woods
In June of 2017 , Grenfell Tower , a 24-story residential building caught fire on the fourth floor . The fire quickly spread upwards , giving occupants little time to escape .
The Grenfell Tower fire was a pivotal point in building safety . Renewed attention was placed on the ability of building materials to resist the spread of fire long enough to allow occupants to exit safely . As a result , new testing standards were developed for fire-resistant building materials in exterior wall assemblies .
Made with magnesium oxide ( MgO ), EXACOR™ panels from Huber Engineerewwwd Woods are designed to function as exterior sheathing in fire-resistance rated 1 exterior wall assemblies .
When faced with a fire , EXACOR™ panels perform three main functions : resisting the spread of flames , resisting fire from burning through to other materials , and maintaining structural integrity .
In order to be approved for use in fire-rated assemblies , EXACOR™ panels have to go through a rigorous testing and certification process . Below , we ’ ll look at the specific tests and how EXACOR™ panels perform .
Flame Spread
If a fire starts , you want to be able to slow the spread to give building occupants time to exit a building safely .
The standard measurement for flame spread is the Steiner Tunnel Test , or the ASTM E84 test . It measures the ability of a flame to spread across a material .
In the test , building materials are placed in a 25-foot tunnel , and an air draft is introduced to attempt to pull flames across the surface . The resulting figure , known as the Flame Spread Index ( FSI ) indicates the distance and speed a flame spreads across the surface of the material .
Materials that score an FSI of 25 or less are considered to be very good at limiting the spread of flame .
EXACOR™ panels have an FSI rating of zero , meaning they did not allow flames to spread across the material surface at all . commARCH // 32