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ICT Today March/April 19

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58 I ICT TODAY TESTS FOR PENETRATION FIRESTOPS For evaluation of penetration firestop systems, the base standard used is ASTM E814, Standard Test Method for Fire Tests of Penetration Firestop Systems. UL has a similar standard, UL 1479, Fire Tests of Through-Penetration Firestops. In the United States, current building codes refer to both UL 1479 and ASTM E814. In Europe, the standard is EN 1366. These test methods expose the test specimen to a standardized time-temperature curve, which ensures that all systems are tested to the same rigorous requirements in order to provide a benchmark °F 0 1 2 3 4 Hour 5 6 7 8 °C 2400 2200 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 1315.6 1204.4 1093.3 982.2 871.1 760.9 648.8 537.8 426.7 315.6 FIGURE 2: Testing a specimen to a standardized time-temperature curve. as shown in Figure 2. At five minutes, the furnace temperature is 538°C (1,000°F); at one hour it reaches 927°C (1,700°F). At two hours, the temperature reaches 1010°C (1,850°F); at three hours it reaches 1052°C (1,925°F); and at four hours it reaches 1093°C (2,000°F). These are critically high temperatures, remembering that aluminum cable conductors typically melt at 649°C (1,200°F) and many plastics ignite at temperatures significantly below 538°C (1,000°F), which is within two or three minutes of the start of a fire! F AND T RATINGS Successfully passing tests to UL 1479 provides firestop systems with an F rating and a T rating. The F rating indicates how long, in hours, a firestop system has successfully prevented the passage of a fire. A two-hour F rating means the firestop system prevented fire spread for two hours. The T rating is a measure of the thermal conductivity of a firestop system. This is the time required for various points on the unexposed side of the test assembly to rise 163°C (325°F) over the starting ambient temperature. Figure 3 shows an example of a UL test assembly consisting of plastic pipes installed in a concrete floor and protected with firestop collars. FIGURE 3: An example of a UL test assembly.

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