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ASTM E84-19b

ASTM E84-19b

Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials

2020-03-04 /Historical
Superseeded by:
Significance and Use:

4.1 This test method is intended to provide only comparative measurements of surface flame spread and smoke density measurements with that of select grade red oak and fiber-cement board surfaces under the specific fire exposure conditions described herein.

4.2 This test method exposes a nominal 24-ft (7.32-m) long by 20-in. (508-mm) wide specimen to a controlled air flow and flaming fire exposure adjusted to spread the flame along the entire length of the select grade red oak specimen in 51/2 min.

4.3 This test method does not provide for the following:

4.3.1 Measurement of heat transmission through the tested surface.

4.3.2 The effect of aggravated flame spread behavior of an assembly resulting from the proximity of combustible walls and ceilings.

4.3.3 Classifying or defining a material as noncombustible, by means of a flame spread index by itself.


1.1 This fire-test–response standard for the comparative surface burning behavior of building materials is applicable to exposed surfaces such as walls and ceilings. The test is conducted with the specimen in the ceiling position with the surface to be evaluated exposed face down to the ignition source. The material, product, or assembly shall be capable of being mounted in the test position during the test. Thus, the specimen shall either be self-supporting by its own structural quality, held in place by added supports along the test surface, or secured from the back side.

1.2 Test Method E84 is a 10-min fire-test response method. The following standards address testing of materials in accordance with test methods that are applications or variations of the test method or apparatus used for Test Method E84:

1.2.1 Materials required by the user to meet an extended 30-min duration tunnel test shall be tested in accordance with Test Method E2768.

1.2.2 Wires and cables for use in air-handling spaces shall be tested in accordance with NFPA 262.

1.2.3 Pneumatic tubing for control systems shall be tested in accordance with UL 1820.

1.2.4 Combustible sprinkler piping shall be tested in accordance with UL 1887.

1.2.5 Optical fiber and communications raceways for use in air handling spaces shall be tested in accordance with UL 2024.

1.3 The purpose of this test method is to determine the relative burning behavior of the material by observing the flame spread along the specimen. Flame spread and smoke developed index are reported. However, there is not necessarily a relationship between these two measurements.

1.4 The use of supporting materials on the underside of the test specimen has the ability to lower the flame spread index from those which might be obtained if the specimen could be tested without such support. These test results do not necessarily relate to indices obtained by testing materials without such support.

1.5 Testing of materials that melt, drip, or delaminate to such a degree that the continuity of the flame front is destroyed, results in low flame spread indices that do not relate directly to indices obtained by testing materials that remain in place.

1.6 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.7 The text of this standard references notes and footnotes that provide explanatory information. These notes and footnotes, excluding those in tables and figures, shall not be considered as requirements of the standard.

1.8 This standard is used to measure and describe the response of materials, products, or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled conditions, but does not by itself incorporate all factors required for fire-hazard or fire-risk assessment of the materials, products, or assemblies under actual fire conditions.

1.9 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.10 Fire testing is inherently hazardous. Adequate safeguards for personnel and property shall be employed in conducting these tests.

1.11 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

flame spread; flame spread index; smoke developed; smoke developed index; Steiner tunnel; surface burning characteristics; 25 ft tunnel; tunnel test<brk/>;
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