Code Requirements for Tests / Assemblies
The first generation of fire retardant ratings, Class "A" ratings, were defined decades ago and codified under the ASTM E84 (NFPA 255, UL 723). The ASTM E-84 measures smoke and fire development over a horizontal surface. Since then, the Code provisions (UBC and ICC) which deal with fire protections issues in the overall construction industry, have adopted other, more stringent, standards (such as ASTM E119 and UBC 26). Until the advent of Firefree coatings, no coatings have been able to meet the full range of such standards. Thus, Firefree has unlocked the vast markets for overall fire protection in the construction industry; markets which were unreachable by fire protection coatings until now.
Firefree Class A ("FFA") provides a cost efficient product which can be used when a fire retardant is needed to slow the spread of fire and show no evidence of significant progressive combustion even when the test is extended to a full 30-minute period over a combustible surface . Based on the results obtained from the 30 minute extended test, the wood materials tested showed minimal char damage, showing FFA's ability to assist in maintaining the structural integrity of the wood materials in a fire. FFA is recommended for use in residential, commercial or industrial building markets, including schools, nursing home, retail spaces and restaurants.
Firefree Coatings, Inc. has also advanced beyond fire retardant testing and pioneered the use of coatings for fire resistants, thus providing the code required hourly fire ratings that are at the core of the construction industry. As a result, Firefree is now an integral part of the construction industry and will impact not only the fire coating industry but the gypsum and sprinkler industries as well.
Firefree 88 ("FF88") is used to comply with the most stringent, significant fire test requirements: the code driven hourly fire ratings required for the walls, ceilings, corridors, shaft walls, etc, found in all building structures in the United States and internationally. These code requirements are clearly defined in either the Uniform Building Code (UBC) or by the International Code Council (ICC). The standard is known as ASTM E 119 and is found in both the UBC and ICC codes. In this standard, wall assemblies are tested in a vertical oven and floor assemblies are tested in a horizontal oven. The testing, in both ovens, is run at 1700° Fahrenheit for one hour and at 1850° Fahrenheit for the second, and beyond.
A second code standard that is pertinent to the Firefree coatings, in particular, is the room corner test, listed in the UBC and ICC code as the UBC 26-3, FM4880 or UL 1715 room corner test. NFPA has recently come out with their 2000 code revision for foam plastics listed as the NFPA 286 room corner test. The Class "A" rating is completely irrelevant in this category.
A third, new standard that is being is being put into place is the new exterior wall/eave exterior test for use in the California Urban Wildland Interface. This new code standard is being developed by the office of the California State Fire Marshal. Their criteria will effect a market of over five million homes in California and over 42 million homes in the United States.
The Firefree line of coatings has grown and will continue to meet the code driven needs for hourly assembly ratings on gypsum wall board, wood, lath and plaster, concrete and metal as the assemblies pertain to all residential, commercial and industrial structures in both the US and abroad. Additionally, Firefree coatings currently meet the room corner test requirements for foam, wood and fiberglass where required by code. Firefree Coatings, Inc. has been a leader in the development in creating a product to meet the new exterior fire requirements as set forth in the new California Wildland Urban Interface.