(EN ISO 1182)
This apparatus determines the non-combustibility performance, under specific conditions, of homogenous products and substantial components of non-homogeneous building products. This test is part of the requirements of the European construction products regulation classification of reaction to fire performance for wall lining and roofing products and floorcoverings. Full classification and performance criteria can be found in a separate document “Reaction to fire instruments for testing according to New European Fire Testing and Classification for Construction Products.”
How the non-combustibility apparatus is used to classify products
The European Construction Products Regulation classification criteria for all building products, has performance classes from AF. Although another test is required for assessment, the non-combustibility apparatus is needed for qualifying all types of construction products to the highest performance criteria – A1 and A1fl (noncombustible). The classification criteria is shown in the table below. This principally applies to non-organic materials.
The FTT Non-Combustibility
The FTT system has been designed with accuracy and longevity in mind. The apparatus is safeguarded to ensure that the heater element cannot be damaged during the heating cycle if the electrical current is too high. The benefits of this system over traditional variac systems are: soft start, ramp rate, power limit and over temperature prevention. This design also helps to considerably extend the life of the furnace.
Special Tube Furnace
Manufactured from steel with a painted black finish. This single zone furnace has a maximum operating temperature of 900°C. The furnace is easily replaceable during maintenance and servicing procedures. The furnace and stabilising cone are held in a frame which also includes the specimen holder support and viewing mirror.
A 19″ instrument case houses all the instrumentation. This unit features a temperature controller, an over temperature alarm and a power controller, which control the furnace temperature at 750°C, compensating for supply voltage fluctuations and displaying the power being supplied to the furnace.
The ‘Non-Comb’ software is a Microsoft Windows based application with simple push button actions, data entry fields, check boxes and other standard Windows operations.
The operator can monitor temperatures on a Status panel before performing a test without recording any data. Before a test, the specimen information (material name, density, mass, laboratory name, etc.) is entered into the computer and saved to a file.
During a test, the temperature of the furnace, specimen surface and specimen centre thermocouples are recorded at a rate of 2 Hz (i.e. every 0.5 seconds) and the temperatures displayed on a graph in real time. Also the initial, maximum and final temperatures recorded by the three thermocouples are displayed during the test run.
After the test, the user is prompted to enter any comments about the material performance, the total time of sustained flaming and the final mass. The appropriate temperature rises are calculated and then a report for the test specimen can be generated.
The test report shows the material information, the initial, maximum and final temperatures, the required temperature rises, the total flaming time, the mass loss (actual and as a percentage of the initial mass) and a graph of the recorded temperatures against time. The test report also includes a reference to the pass/fail criteria given in the appropriate Standards and states whether the specimen meets these criteria.
All the test data is saved to the hard disk as an ASCII file which can then be imported into spreadsheets for additional analysis.