Fire testing and classification of coverings

Fire protection ability is an important characteristic of coverings which provide protection against damage to products which comprise building components during a fire.

Fire classification of fire protection ability
Fire classification of fire protection ability is undertaken according to current classification standards.

The European classification standard DS/EN 13501-2 - Classification using data from fire resistance tests, excluding ventilation services defines the following classes of fire protection ability: K1 10, K2 10, K2 30 and K2 60, where 10, 30 and 60 are classification times in minutes.

The Danish classification standard DS 1065-2 - Coverings - Class 1 and class 2 coverings contain detailed requirements for fire protection ability for at least 10 minutes.

Before the fire test
The following points should be clarified prior to the fire testing of coverings:

  • Which fire classification is desired for the covering?
  • How is the covering to be mounted, possibly with underlying cavities, joints or fixtures?
  • Which substrate do you wish the covering to be tested on?Normally a 19 mm chipboard, with a density of 680 kg/m3, is used. Coverings with class designation K1 10, to be used on a substrate, with a density of less than 300 kg/m3, must be tested on the actual substrate.

Fire testing
The fire testing of coverings can be performed using two test methods in accordance with the previous Nordic standard and the harmonised European standard.

The Nordic test method is defined in the standard DS/INSTA 411 Coverings - Fire protection ability. A positive result can be used as a classification for fire protection ability for at least 10 minutes in accordance with DS 1065-2.

The European test method is defined in the standard DS/EN 14135 Coverings – Determination of fire protection ability. It should be possible to use a positive result as a classification for fire protection ability in accordance with both DS/EN 13501-2 and DS 1065-2.

Please be aware that a test in accordance with the Nordic method cannot be used for a European classification. If the covering is to be used abroad, DBI recommends that the covering is tested in accordance with the European standard.

Combination of fire protection ability and reaction to fire
The classes for fire protection ability can be combined with classes for construction products’ and building components' ((exclusive) floor coverings and roof coverings) reaction to fire.

For coverings, the European classes for fire protection ability are combined with reaction to fire; e.g. covering class K1 10 D-s2, d2 for a class 2 covering.

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