WHAT IS A REACTION TO FIRE?
The reaction of a product to fire is its contribution to a fire to which it is exposed through its decomposition. It is concerned with the combustibility and ignitability of building materials, and it can be used to calculate how much energy they contribute to the spread of a fire.
HOW IS FIRE REACTION CLASSIFIED AND TESTED?
The European Standard BS EN 13501-1 classifies fire reactions (also known as Euro classes). A product that satisfies this standard can be categorized as A, B, C, D, or F. It depends on the results of four small-scale fire tests that determine the extent of burning, amount of heat released, extent of smoke produced, and fire’s propensity to spread. The tests for all construction products take into account a fire that starts in a room and grows to the point of flashover.
WHAT IS THE IGNITABILITY TEST?
To test the ignitability of a product, a fire brigade uses a small flame to reproduce the ignition stage of a fire. This test is appropriate for classes B through E.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE BURNING ITEM TEST?
The test represents the growth stage, eventually reaching flashover, and evaluates a product’s potential contribution to developing fire in a fire situation simulating a single burning item in a room corner close to that product. This test applies to classes A2 through D.
WHAT ARE THE THE NON-COMBUSTIBILITY AND HEAT OF COMBUSTION TESTS?
It represents the fully-developed, post-flashover fire stage and applies to classes A1 and A2. The Non-Combustibility Test identifies products that will not, or will only minimally contribute to a fire. The Heat of Combustion Test determines a product’s potential maximum total heat release when completely burning. Moreover, we know it as the Bomb Calorimeter Test. There are also additional Euroclass classifications for the production of smoke and flaming droplets/particles for classes A2 through E, according to the Euroclass system.
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