If a fire breaks out in your building, how long does it take the flames to burn the entire building? You don't need to know, although we recommend that you leave the building as soon as possible. Those who must know, however, are the laboratories that carry out fire reaction tests on building materials that are responsible for verifying the resistance of the samples to direct flame exposure. However, the test involves various phases. One of these is the conditioning which is carried out in the climatic chamber. Let's see together in order.
What are the Fire Reaction Tests on Building Materials
Fire reaction tests on building materials are used to test fire resistance which is one of the fire prevention measures to ensure an adequate level of safety of a construction work in fire conditions.
The international reference standard is EN 13501-2: 2016 which is in turn divided into specific chapters for the various architectural elements such as walls, floors, load-bearing columns, roofs, balconies and so on.
During the test, the sample is placed inside a combustion chamber to be subjected to direct flame at various angles and for different periods of time.
Following the test, the results are evaluated according to criteria established by the standard itself, such as the possible ignition of the sample, the spread of the fire and so on.
Before all this, however, the sample must be properly conditioned and here the climatic chambers come into play.
What is Air Conditioning in the Climatic Chamber according to EN 13238
We have already talked here about the various tests on building materials carried out in the climatic chamber.
This, however, can be considered as the first phase of a broader test which is precisely that of reaction to fire: it is the conditioning of the sample.
Many non-climatic tests on materials need the climatic chamber in the preparatory phase to perform the so-called conditioning.
The conditioning serves to ensure the uniformity of all samples at the time of the test, to exclude any random variable from the final results.
For the reaction to fire tests, the conditioning of the samples is regulated by the EN 13238 standard.
The parameters vary from material to material, but in general the samples are brought to a temperature of about 20 ° with a relative humidity of 50% and kept in these conditions for at least two weeks.
Only then can the actual reaction to fire test be carried out.
The FDM Climatic Chamber for Building Materials Conditioning
Our FDM - Environment Makers climatic chambers are the perfect tool to perform the conditioning test in compliance with the EN 13238 standard on building materials.
They have a temperature range from -25 ° C to + 70 ° C and a relative humidity range from 10% to 98%.
The process can be fully automated for the duration required by the standard thanks to the practical revoFACE controller.
Furthermore, in case you need to carry out fire proof or potentially explosive tests, we can supply climatic chambers with ATEX certification, which we have talked about here.
For further doubts and questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.