Fire Tests of Rigid Plastic Ventilation Ducts
Description:The Bureau of Mines conducted a flammability study of plastic ventilation ducts. Six rigid 16-in-diam fiberglass-reinforced plastic ducts from five manufacturers were examined using laboratory-scale, large-scale, and full-scale fire tests. The laboratory-scale tests included the American Society for Testing and Materials E162 radiant panel test, the E2863 oxygen index test, and the standardized small-scale flammability test (S3FT) developed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), U.S. Department of Labor, and replicated by the Bureau of Mines. Ten-foot lengths of the same ducts were also subjected to a large-scale vertical fire test, and 20-to 30-ft lengths were tested in a full-scale in-mine fire test at the Bureau's Lake Lynn Laboratory mine. The data from the laboratory-scale radiant panel test and oxygen index test indicated that the ducts were fire-resistant, However, five of the six ducts failed the S3FT and vertical fire tests, and four of the ducts failed the full-scale in-mine tests with flame propagation rates that ranged from 3 to 10 ft/min. The results indicate the need for improved fire-resistant plastic ducts. The good agreement between the S3FT re-sults and the vertical and full-scale tests show that the S3FT provides a good indication of the flammability of fiberglass-reinforced plastic ducting under realistic fire conditions.
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