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  1. #1
    Cees Kies's Avatar
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    Default ASTM E 84 vs UL2043

    The ASTM E84 (UL 723) cover the Surface Burning Characteristics for Flame and Smoke development

    Pipe hangers and pipe supports are also covered by standards that apply to building materials such as ASTM E84 standard test method for surface burning characteristics of building materials. To my knowledge E84 is a test that is designed for sheet testing of surface finish materials and does not provide for the testing of shapes such as pipe and fittings or fixture assemblies.

    UL 2043 covers discrete products installed in air-handling spaces (plenums) as defined in Article 300 of ANSI/NFPA 70, "National Electrical Code," Chapter 4 of ANSI/NFPA 90A, "Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems," Section 602 of the "International Mechanical Code," and Section 602 of the "Uniform Mechanical Code."
    Question is to what standard can one approve discrete products such as plastic pipe, pipe hangers and supports in a plenum; both standard tests or the more dedicated UL 2043?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: ASTM E 84 vs UL 2043

    Quote Originally Posted by Cees Kies View Post
    UL 2043 covers discrete products installed in air-handling spaces (plenums) as defined in Article 300 of ANSI/NFPA 70, "National Electrical Code,"

    Question is to what standard can one approve discrete products such as plastic pipe, pipe hangers and supports in a plenum; both standard tests or the more dedicated UL 2043?
    I do not have UL 2043, however, based on your observations and statements, you do not apply the NEC definition of "Ducts or Plenums Used for Environment Air" in NEC 300.22(B) or 300.22(C) "Other Space Used for Environment Air" to other than electrical products.

    Thus, if UL 2043 is only addressing electrical products installed in those two sections, the only wiring methods and their associates supports allowed would be those listed in those two sections.

    The ASTM E84 (UL 723) cover the Surface Burning Characteristics for Flame and Smoke development.

    Pipe hangers and pipe supports are also covered by standards that apply to building materials such as ASTM E84 standard test method for surface burning characteristics of building materials. To my knowledge E84 is a test that is designed for sheet testing of surface finish materials and does not provide for the testing of shapes such as pipe and fittings or fixture assemblies.
    ASTM E 84 is for materials used to construct or cover walls and ceilings, not just sheeting materials.

    If UL 2043 also addresses:
    Chapter 4 of ANSI/NFPA 90A, "Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems," Section 602 of the "International Mechanical Code," and Section 602 of the "Uniform Mechanical Code."
    Then UL 2043 would also apply to those items as well.

    Question is to what standard can one approve discrete products such as plastic pipe, pipe hangers and supports in a plenum; both standard tests or the more dedicated UL 2043?
    ASTM E 84 is not intended for that purpose. That would leave UL 2043, which I do not have and have not read.

    The scope of UL 2043 indicates it is for use as what you say: (bold is mine)
    - Fire Test for Heat and Visible Smoke Release for Discrete Products and Their Accessories Installed in Air-Handling Spaces
    - - UL 2043
    - - - 1 Scope
    - - - - 1.1 This is a fire test method for determining the fire performance response of discrete products (including, but not limited to electrical equipment) intended to be installed in air handling spaces, such as above suspended ceilings or below floors. These products are subjected to an open flame ignition source and evaluated using a product calorimeter.
    - - - - 1.2 This test may be used to determine fire performance and smoke characteristics of discrete, non-continuous building materials where the Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, UL 723, is not applicable.

    - - - - 1.3 The purpose of this test is to determine the rate of heat release and the rate of smoke release of the burning product samples as they relate to the requirements for fire-resistant and low-smoke-producing characteristics in accordance with the provisions of the following codes: National Electric Code, NFPA 70; International Mechanical Code, NFPA 5000; Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems, NFPA 90A.
    - - - - 1.4 This test method does not provide information on the performance of products in other fire or test conditions. This test does not investigate the toxicity of the products of combustion. - - - - 1.5 This test does not cover the constructional, electrical, or other performance requirements of the product.

    Thus, the space is not defined in accordance with NEC for all the other standards, the space is defined in accordance with UL 2043 itself "intended to be installed in air handling spaces, such as above suspended ceilings or below floors".

    If that definition fits the location you are referencing, then the components and items covered by the referenced standards in 1.3 above would need to be listed and rated to UL 2043, not UL 723 (ASTM E 84) as ASTM E 84 is specifically addressed as being "not applicable" in UL 2043 Scope.

    Your questions are considerably above our heads in what we do as Home Inspectors, however, hopefully my answer did provide some useful information.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: ASTM E 84 vs UL2043

    I bet Bob Harper or Dale Feb would be very helpful in this thread......

    Oh, Welcome Cees! (That is said with a Southern United States accent)

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Exclamation Re: ASTM E 84 vs UL2043

    Dale's been in depositions all day so I'm sure he's sleeping now....

    Just a quick blush at this 'cause it's an all-niter for me:

    NFPA 262/ UL 910 may be one test to look at. It's the old Steiner Tunnel test where you ignite wiring in the tunnel then see if it burns no more than 1.5 meters/ 4.92 ft in 5 min. with less smoke than 0.5 peak or 0.15 avg. This same tunnel is used for the ASTM E-84/ UL723/ NFPA 255 flame spread test. Here, material such as wood products, carpeting, fabric, etc. is loaded all 25ft. then ignited and time how long it takes to burn the length. This is compared to 3/4" T&G red oak, which is referenced as a flame spread of 100 and CBB at 0. If your product tests at at flame spread of 500, then it burns 5x compared to red oak. Also note this is a horizontal flame spread whereas the 2043 is a vertical test rig with burner below to a metal tube to an enclosed box. The 262 test is more open and ventilated. The UL 2043 is really meant to test wiring and speakers or similar components in plenums.

    If you are concerned about the fire properties of specific materials, I would put it back on the mfr. and inquire what technical data and ratings they have. Some won't have a clue what the heck you are asking but hey, that's the fun of it. There may be some other applicable stds. but I have to get back to the salt mine...

    Cees, it would be nice if you would note in your profile what approx. area you live in and your profession. That and what your application/ interest is in this subject i.e. architect, builder, AHJ, etc.

    Yeah Scott, you knew I couldn't pass up commenting on a thread with those stds. listed in it now could you? ;-)
    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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