Standard Test Method of Small-Scale Evaluation of Fire-Retardant Paints (2-Foot Tunnel Method)
3.1 A number of laboratory procedures are used to evaluate the effectiveness of fire-retardant and fire-resistant treatments and coatings. In general, these methods measure the three stages of fire development: (1) ignition; (2) flame spread (rate of growth of the fire); and (3) conflagration extent. While all three are of extreme importance, flame spread has been recognized as the main factor associated with testing fire-retardant coatings.
3.2 Flame spread ratings based upon Test Method E84 have acquired common acceptance by regulatory agencies, but such large-scale tests are seldom practical during the development or modification of a fire-retardant coating.
3.3 This test method provides the relative flame spread of experimental coatings using small test specimens. By calibrating the 2-foot tunnel with Test Method E84-rated fire-retardant paint, results obtained by this test method should be indicative of those obtained with a large specimen in the Test Method E84 tunnel.
1.1 This test method determines the protection a coating affords its substrate, and the comparative burning characteristics of coatings by evaluating the flame spread over the surface when ignited under controlled conditions in a small tunnel. This establishes a basis for comparing surface-burning characteristics of different coatings without specific consideration of all the end-use parameters that might affect surface-burning characteristics under actual fire conditions.
1.2 In addition to the experimental flame spread rate, the weight of panel consumed, time of afterflaming and afterglow, char dimensions and index, and height of intumescence may be measured in this test. However, a relationship should not be presumed among these measurements.
1.3 This standard should be used to measure and describe the properties of materials, products, or assemblies in response to heat and flame under controlled laboratory conditions, and should not be used to describe or appraise the fire hazard or fire risk of materials, products, or assemblies under actual fire conditions. However, results of this test may be used as elements of a fire risk assessment which takes into account all of the factors which are pertinent to an assessment of the fire hazard of a particular end use.
1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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