The flooring radiant panel test evaluates the propensity of a floor system to spread fire when exposed to intense radiant heat from a gas-fired radiant panel. Specifically, the method determines the minimum level of heat energy required to sustain the burning of a material.
This property, called critical radiant flux (CRF), is an essential part of a fire safety hazard analysis and provides a useful way for ranking products with respect to fire behavior. Our testing services aid in selecting materials that are more resistant to ignition for areas of a building that are deemed fire-sensitive, such as corridors and exitways, ensuring greater protection to people and property.
Assessing the critical radiant flux
During radiant panel test, we simulate a likely set of conditions which may lead to fire spread in a floor-covering system. ASTM E648 and NFPA 253 are standard methods of test for determining the critical radiant flux of floor covering materials under controlled combustion conditions. We use these methods to expose the material to a simulated thermal radiation challenge from above, as may occur when hot gases and flames accumulate in a room and radiate downward in real-world conditions. As a result, the data generated by this test are correlated to the relative performance of materials in actual installations.
Exova provides reaction to fire testing through the radiant panel test for construction projects to comply with building code but also for transportation vehicles, such as trains and buses, where testing is mandatory. As a leading authority in our field, our reaction to fire testing services helps to improve a manufacturer’s knowledge of a product and to provide a competitive advantage by demonstrating the product’s superior reaction to fire qualities.
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