ASTM E119 Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials

Standard: ASTM E119 Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials

Scope: This fire-test-response standard applies to assemblies of masonry units and composite assemblies of structural materials buildings.

Products: Loadbearing and non-loadbearing walls and partitions, columns, girders, beams, slabs, as well as composite slab and beam assemblies for floors and roofs.

Procedure: Test specimens undergo the fire-resistance test with its applied load, if any, until failure occurs or until the test specimen has withstood the test conditions for the determined conditions for the given type of building element.

Tests of Loadbearing Walls and Partitions

Loadbearing walls and partitions test specimens have a surface area that is exposed to fire at a minimum of 100 ft² with neither dimension less than 9 ft. The test specimen will not be restrained on its vertical edges.

The success of this test depends on if the test specimen sustains the applied load during the fire-resistance test without the passage of flames igniting the cotton waste for a period equal to the desired classification and sustaining the load during the fire and hose stream test. The test will fail the hose stream test if an opening develops that allows water from the stream to reach the unexposed surface or if the transmission of heat through the unexposed surface specimen reaches more than 250°F (139°C).

Tests of Non-Loadbearing Walls and Partitions

Non-loadbearing walls and partitions test specimens have a surface area that is exposed to fire at a minimum of 100 ft² with neither dimension less than 9 ft. The test specimen will be restrained on all four edges.

The success of this test depends on if the test specimen withstands the fire-resistance test without passage of flames without igniting the cotton waste for a period equal to the desired classification and withstands the fire and hose stream test. The test will fail the hose stream test if an opening develops that allows water from the stream to reach the unexposed surface or if the transmission of heat through the unexposed surface specimen reaches more than 250°F (139°C).

Tests of Loaded Columns

Loaded column specimens must have a vertical exposed area of a minimum of 9 ft. The fire-resistance test is considered successful if the loaded column sustains the supplied load for the period equal to the desired classification.

Tests of Floors and Roofs

Floor and roof specimens must have an exposed area not less than 180 ft² with neither dimension less than 12 ft. If the test specimen has structural members, it must be positioned in the combustion chamber and have a side clearance of at least 8 in. from the chamber walls.

The fire-resistance test for restrained and unrestrained assemblies is considered successful if the following conditions are met:

  • The test specimen sustained the applied load without the unexposed surface becoming visible during its classification period
  • The transmission of heat through the unexposed surface specimen reaches more than 250°F (139°C)
  • Test specimens with steel structural members space more than 4 ft. on centers, must not have a temperature that exceeds 1300 °F (704 °C) at any location, and must not have an average temperature recorded by four thermocouples that exceed 1100 °F (593 °C) during the first hour
  • Test specimens with conventionally designed concrete beams spaced more than 4 ft on centers cannot have an average temperature exceeding 800 °F (427 °C) for cold-drawn prestressing steel or 1100 °F (593 °C) for reinforcing steel during the first hour
  • Test specimens with conventionally designed concrete beams spaced more than 4 ft on centers cannot have an average temperature exceeding 800 °F (427 °C) for cold-drawn prestressing steel or 1100 °F (593 °C) for reinforcing steel during the first hour

Tests of Loaded Restrained Beams

Loaded restrained beams will be tested in a horizontal position with a minimum length exposed to the fire of 12 ft. Test specimens that have a section of floor or roof assembly must have a maximum width of 7 ft and must be symmetrically located with reference to the beam. The restraining of the beam must replicate the restraint expected in the construction of a building. The fire-resistance test is considered successful if the loaded restrained beams sustain the supplied load during its classification period.

Tests of Loaded Unrestrained Beams Supporting Floors and Roofs

Loaded unrestrained beams that support floors and roofs will be tested in the horizontal position with the clear span (L c) of the beam exposed to the fire and cannot be less than 12 ft. Test specimens that have a section of floor or roof assembly must have a maximum width of 7 ft and must be symmetrically located with reference to the beam. The fire-resistance test is considered successful if the loaded unrestrained beam sustains the supplied load during its classification period.

Tests of Protective Membranes in Walls, Partition, Floor, or Roof Assemblies

The test specimen must comply with:

  • Section 8.2.1 for loadbearing walls and partitions
  • Section 8.3.1 for non-loadbearing walls and partitions; and 8.6.2.1 for floors and roofs

The fire-resistance test is considered successful if the following conditions occur:

  • The average temperature rise of any set of thermocouples for each class of element being protected is more than 250 °F (139 °C) above the initial temperature or
  • The average temperature rise of any one thermocouple of the set for each class of element being protected is more than 325 °F (181 °C) above the initial temperature

Result: These test methods evaluate the duration that building elements contain a fire, retain their structural integrity, or exhibit both properties during a predetermined test exposure. Assemblies are then designated as “one hour” or “two hours,” (etc.) a measure of their fire resistance over time.

 

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