Radiant Panel Test: assessing the response of flooring materials to heat and flame
A guide to understanding the critical radiant flux of flooring materials.
Flooring materials used in a building corridor or exitway must be tested for their flammability characteristics to gain an understanding of how they will contribute to fire spread, especially at the early stages of a fire as these areas are critical to the safe evacuation of a building.
The radiant panel test measures the critical radiant flux of a floor-covering material as its ability to limit the progression of a fire through a building corridor. This property provides a useful way of ranking products for their fire behavior.
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This article investigates the radiant panel test and the common standard test methods, covering all aspects of the testing, including:
- The determination of the relative critical radiant flux
- ASTM E648 and NFPA 253
- The test apparatus
- The test method
- The test results
- Specimen requirements and sample preparation