Reaction to Fire Laboratory
In recent years, the developments in construction materials have raised expectations from a house or workplace significantly. It has become easier for architects and engineers to increase the life quality, energy efficiency and to provide superior aestetics with the newly introduced high-tech construction materials. Designers of the present day are now in a continous feedback cycle with the material technology developers which lead the plastics, metal, glass and composite materials to become essential pieces in construction sector. Nevertheless, improvement comes with a price: these new building pieces can possess a high risk of starting a fire or contributing to the growth of a fire. At this point, it has become a necessity to test the fire performance of all construcion materials with standardized testing methods.
A similar process of development can also be seen in transportation industry. Especially materials for railway vehicles, non-military aircrafts and marine vessels are subjects to special regulations that mandates various fire performance tests.
TSE Constructions Materials Fire and Acoustics Laboratory is an institution designed to gather various fire testing capabilities in a single structure.
What is reaction to fire?
Two key aspects to fire testing are Fire Resistance and Reaction to Fire and there is often confusion between the two. Fire resistance is the measurement of the ability of a material or system to resist, and ideally prevent, the passage of fire from one distinct area to another. Reaction to fire is the measurement of how a material or system will contribute to the fire development and spread, particularly in the very early stages of a fire when evacuation is crucial.
Why is reaction to fire important?
The contribution of a product to a developing fire, in terms of ease of ignition, energy produced and flame spread will have an impact on how easy it is for people to escape from the area of the fire.
What properties affect reaction to fire performance?
Chemical formuation, thickness, color, geometry and density are fundamental material properties that directly affect reaction to fire performance. In addition, type of mounting and fixing, area of use, presence of air gaps, joints, exposed surfaces are end-use related features that are almost always crucial in application of a reaction to fire test. Therefore, for a full quotation of a test, one should provide sufficient information in order to be able to assess the overall reaction to fire testing aspects.