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What is the ASTM E84 code?



ASTM E84, also known as the "Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials," is a widely recognized standard used to assess and classify the fire performance of building materials. It measures the flame spread and smoke development characteristics of various materials when exposed to a controlled fire source. 
Here are some key points about ASTM E84:
1. Purpose: The main purpose of ASTM E84 is to determine the surface burning characteristics of building materials when exposed to a flame ignition source. The test evaluates flame spread and smoke development by measuring various parameters.
2. Test Setup: The test involves placing a sample of the material in a horizontal position inside a specially designed tunnel chamber. The sample is exposed to a flame ignition source at one end, and the flame spread and smoke development are measured as the flame propagates along the sample.
3. Flame Spread Index (FSI): The flame spread index is a numerical rating derived from the test results, indicating the extent of flame spread along the sample. Lower values indicate slower flame spread and better fire resistance. The FSI is calculated based on the distance traveled by the flame over a given time period.
4. Smoke Developed Index (SDI): The smoke developed index is another numerical rating obtained from the test. It measures the amount of smoke generated by the burning material. Lower SDI values indicate lower smoke production, which is desirable for fire safety purposes.
5. Test Parameters: The ASTM E84 test considers specific parameters such as flame spread distance, ignition time, and smoke density. These measurements are used to determine the flame spread index and smoke developed index.
6. Test Applicability: The ASTM E84 test method is widely used to evaluate the fire performance of various building materials, including wall coverings, paints, coatings, insulation materials, and other interior finishes. It helps determine if these materials meet fire safety standards and code requirements.
7. Code Compliance: The test results obtained from ASTM E84 are often referenced in building codes and regulations to specify the maximum flame spread and smoke development limits for different applications. Compliance with these requirements is necessary to ensure the fire safety of buildings.
8. Classification: Based on the test results, materials are classified into different flame spread classes, such as Class A, B, or C, representing various levels of fire performance. Class A materials have the best fire resistance, while Class C materials have the least resistance.
It's important to note that the ASTM E84 test method provides valuable information about the surface burning characteristics of building materials but does not assess other fire performance properties, such as heat release rate or fire resistance under specific conditions. Other test methods and standards may be applicable to evaluate those aspects.

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