Fire safety in the building codes focuses on two product characteristics:
How fast do flames spread along a product (Flame Spread).
The first characteristic, Flame Spread, is important for personal safety in single-family residences. It measures how fast the flames spread along a surface structure, which can impact how quickly someone can safely exit a burning building. BamCore’s Prime Wall panels perform uniquely well in standardized fire safety ratings compared to all untreated wood-based materials. The primary rating system for building material has three Classes: A, B, and C. The rating is based on a combination of two factors when a product is exposed to blowing flame: how quickly the flames travel along the surface of the material and how much smoke develops while the flames are traveling.
In an independent lab test, BamCore’s Prime Panels outperformed all other untreated wood based framing and siding products, including cedar and redwood. Independent lab testing under ASTM E84 test standard showed the BamCore’s untreated Prime Wall Panels achieve a flame spread rating of only 40, whereas other structural wood products like OSB and T1-11 siding range from 76 to 200. The chart below shows the combined flame spread and smoke generation ratings. Specifically, BamCore’s Prime Wall Panels were the best performing Class B material, recognizing that no untreated wood product – whole or engineered – has a lower flame spread performance.
How long does a building remain safely standing during a prolonged fire (Fire Resistance).
The second characteristic, Fire Resistance, can be described as the amount of time a structure will hold its integrity before collapsing. Different types of occupancy have different fire resistance requirements. Most standard single-family residential structures do not have a Fire Resistance requirement for the occupied areas, except frequently require a 1-hour fire resistance wall between the occupied areas and the garage. Commercial and multi-family structures do have a range of fire resistance requirements ranging from 1-4 hours, depending on occupancy type. Independent lab testing under ASTM E119 test standard showed that the BamCore Prime Wall system achieved the standard 1hr and 2hr fire ratings in conjunction with applied drywall while maintaining the load of 30,800 pounds. Nearly fire resistance product uses applied drywall to achieve its fire resistance ratings.
In addition to structural strength, effective building materials also need to have acceptable behavior when exposed to fire.