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ASTM Subcommittee is working on new standards.

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June 16, 2009 - Subcommittee E05.11 on Fire Resistance, part of ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards, is developing proposed standards for test methods on vented construction systems, furnace exposure on test samples, and tunnel fire resistance. All parties interested in working on fire resistance standards are encouraged to join in the activities of E05.11 in developing these and other proposed standards. ASTM welcomes and encourages participation in its standards development.

ASTM Fire Resistance Subcommittee at Work on Proposed New Standards

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ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Dr., Box C700
West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: June 15, 2009

Subjects Include Vented Construction Systems, Furnace Exposure and Tunnel Fire Resistance

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., 15 June 2009-Subcommittee E05.11 on Fire Resistance, part of ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards, is currently developing a number of proposed standards, including the following three test methods on vented construction systems, furnace exposure on test samples and tunnel fire resistance.

All parties interested in working on fire resistance standards are encouraged to join in the activities of E05.11 in developing these and other proposed standards.

Vented Construction

Understanding how construction systems will perform in the earliest moments of a fire is crucial. A proposed new ASTM standard, WK22660, Test Method for Evaluating Fire Performance of Vented Construction, will provide tests for evidence on how vented construction systems are affected by the first five minutes of a fire and will be used to complement existing fire testing methods test results

"New fire protection elements used in fire rated vented construction recently developed and currently in use in Europe are making their way into North America, says Amal Tamim, M.Sc. FPE, section manager-fire engineering, COWI Gulf, and a longtime E05 member. These vented construction elements are used for natural venting in walls and floors, and are also used within cavities and voids.

According to Tamim, the proposed standard will provide local authorities and designers with a measure of fire performance in the initial phases of fire exposure of vented construction systems and a tool to compare fire performance of all products used for both fire safety and ventilation of buildings without having to compromise one or the other.

"Natural venting of buildings is getting more attention as sustainable and energy efficient building construction is now a priority for designers and communities," says Tamim.

Representatives of testing laboratories, building and fire officials, designers and fire protection manufacturers are all encouraged to participate in the ongoing development of ASTM WK22660.

Furnace Exposure

Fire test laboratories and fire protection engineers will be the primary users of proposed new standard ASTM WK23795, Test Method for Measuring the Uniformity of Furnace Exposure on Test Samples. The proposed standard provides general principles for measuring the uniformity of furnace exposure on samples tested in accordance with the following standards:

  • ASTM E119, Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials;

  • ASTM E814, Test Method for Fire Tests of Penetration Firestop Systems;

  • ASTM E1725, Test Methods for Fire Tests of Fire-Resistive Barrier Systems for Electrical System Components;

  • ASTM E1966, Test Method for Fire-Resistive Joint Systems; and

  • ASTM E2336, Test Methods for Fire-Resistive Grease Duct Enclosure Systems.

    "Data generated by the proposed standard should enable better use of ASTM E119 test results in performance based code applications and provide a basis for establishing furnace calibration standards," says Robert Berhinig, Berhinig Services, LLC and an E05 member.

    Tunnel Fire Resistance

    Fires in tunnels can reach temperatures as high as 2,500F [1371C], but current standards that deal with building fires provide for a maximum temperature of 2,000F [1093C] and are not specific to tunnels. A proposed new standard, ASTM WK23821, Test Methods for Tunnel Fire Resistance, will be developed with the special considerations of tunnel fires in mind.

    According to Barry Badders, manager of the fire resistance section within the fire technology department at Southwest Research Institute, ASTM WK23821 will provide a minimum fire standard with regard to structural stability and compartmentation for tunnel construction. "Once approved, the proposed standard will be available for reference in codes regulating the construction of tunnels and will be used by manufacturers to demonstrate that their products meet minimum standards," says Badders.

    For technical Information, contact: (ASTM WK22660) Amal Tamim, COWI Gulf, Sultanate of Oman (phone: +011-968-2460-4200;; (ASTM WK23795) Robert Berhinig, Berhinig Services LLC, Arlington Heights, Ill. (phone: 847-253-0324;; (ASTM WK23821) Barry Badders, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas (phone: 210-522-3971; ASTM Committee E05 meets June 14-17 during June committee week in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

    ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM's open consensus process, using advanced Internet-based standards development tools, ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, please contact Thomas O'Toole, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9739;

    Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe.
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