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ETICS Fire Performance Test



With the increasing use of combustible materials in façades to reach energy performance of buildings, fire safety is a growing issue. Many believe that façades have no or little impact on the spread of fire in buildings. Two large scale tests have been carried out in Croatia in March and May 2014 by a team of experts from Sweden, Slovenia and Croatia and representatives from Fire Safe Europe and Croatian Association for Fire Protection. In each test three specimens were constructed where three different types of ETICS systems were erected on brick walls. ETICS with combustible insulation (EPS) + organic render, ETICS with combustible insulation (EPS) + organic render and with fire barriers around the openings and ETICS with non-combustible insulation (MW) + organic render were performed and tested. Measurements of the temperature change was performed according to BS 8414 on all three specimens, by using Type K thermocouples mineral insulated and additional temperature measurements were performed by using plate thermometers, together with thermo couples, respectively. Load cells were installed in order to monitor the change of the mass of the wood cribs, i.e. the rate of fuel consumption. Additionally, the specimens were visually monitored and the temperature was measured by using the infrared thermography. This paper presents the testing results from the test performed in March 2014 of these three different types of ETICS system regarding their fire performance according to the BS 8414 standard. Through the testing of three different types of ETICS system regarding their fire performance it has been revealed that façade fires can in fact spread very rapidly depending on the type of materials used. Also existing standardized full scale fire tests do not cover all essential parameters for the development of a fire. Through the additional measurements carried out during the testing valuable information to supplement and upgrade existing fire tests standards were gathered.

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