Reaction to fire
In the end anything can burn. The relevant questions are the following. What heat and what time is needed to set materials and objects on fire? In what way do flames and smoke develop and spread?
In the laboratories of the Efectis Group a wide range of tests can be performed with burners, calorimeters, and smoke measuring instruments. Igniting all kinds of products in a specific way, for a specific time, can help to determine the fire performance of a product and its contribution to a starting fire. Ignitability, heat release, smoke development, and loss of weight can be discovered through testing. Efectis can provide this testing at competitive rates.
It is advisable to investigate and establish fire behavior in an early stage, especially for newly developed materials. Efectis likes to think ahead, offering an optimized research program and a testing strategy, performing tests on a short-term basis. Added value can be found in a comprehensive set of tailor-made solutions and special testing programs based on current scientific knowledge.
Building materials have to fulfil the requirements stated in rules and regulations. Based on the client’s demands and the possibilities offered in the standards, Efectis can set up a research program that minimizes the amount of testing and maximizes the results (for different product types and ranges of thickness, density, etc.).
EN 13501-1 is the European classification for construction products and building elements: A1, A2 and B to F, s1, s2, s3 (smoke) and d0, d1 and d2 (flaming droplets).
Also, periodic verification for CE certification is in good hands at Efectis.
List of testing methods accredited for Efectis France
List of testing methods accredited for Efectis Nederland
List of testing methods accredited for Efectis Era Avrasya
List of testing methods accredited by Efectis UK / Ireland Limited
Accredited laboratory for more than 30 years, Efectis testing facilities are top of the line in technical excellence. Our laboratories are equipped to respond effectively to any testing requests, from the simplest to the most complex tests. Efectis has:
- More than 70 years of experience
- 5 fire laboratories:
- Maizières-lès-Metz, France
- Les Avenières, France
- Bleiswijk, The Netherlands
- Gebze, Turkey
- Belfast (UK & Ireland)
- 1 jet-fire installation for Oil & Gas testing
- 5 facade testing facilities
- 1 loading frame (400T)
- More than 10,000 tests performed since its creation
- More than 700 fire resistance tests performed per year
- Classification standard tests (Cellulosic curve (ISOR834) – RWS – Hydrocarbon (HC) – Hydrocarbon Modified Curve (HCM) – JetFire (JF)) as well as research and ad-hoc tests
- 12 fire resistance furnaces, including a furnace of more than 250 m3
- Tests performed according to European and international standards (EN, DIN, ISO, IMO, BS, NFPA, ASTM, UL, FM)
Efectis is accredited for the fire tests activity as per EN 17025
The products and building elements whose fire behavior is tested in our laboratories include:
- The partitioning elements: partitions, doors and locks, glass elements, ship partitions and other transport systems,
- The smoke exhaust elements and system: valves, shutters, ducts, fans, smoke barriers, MCV, outfalls and SHEV,
- The structural elements: beams, columns, walls, and their products for their protection,
- The service elements: penetration seals, linear joints, cable trays, cables,
- The external resistance tests for fire roofs and facades.
Non-fire testing (mechanical, aging, acoustical, chemical, biological…)
In addition to standard fire tests, Efectis is able to perform non fire tests in order to offer a complete range of services for each type of product.
Efectis performs smoke leakage tests according to the EN 1634-3 standard, on elements whose maximal dimensions are 3000 x 3000 mm (W x H). These tests lead to “Sa” and “Sm” performance ratings.
Finally, Efectis is able to realize special tests for the French market such as NF S 61-937-2 and NF S 61-937-3.
For penetration seals:
Special tests can be required for penetrations seals, especially for Nuclear Power Plant applications. These tests are realized prior to fire exposure, or independently from them:
- Water tightness, to check that no water can pass through the penetration seal,
- Interoperability, to check that the different penetration seal systems from different suppliers are compatible,
- Deflection, to verify that the penetration seal system is able to absorb mechanical stress and retain fire resistance performance.
For fire dampers:
For Nuclear Power Plants, special requirements have been adapted to the situation of consecutive problems. A fire damper has to successfully pass 3 tests:
- 500 cycles (opening/closing of the blade) with an air velocity of 12m/s,
- Resistance to earthquake test , according to EN 60068-3-3,
- Fire resistance test with under pressure 1500 Pa.
Firefighting and suppression system
Efectis has developed a special qualification program, in order to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of firefighting equipment. Relying on fire scenarios, each system or operational method can be evaluated.
A scenario can be proposed as a point of reference regardless of the systems used. This scenario helps to determine the efficiency of firefighting equipment, in terms of:
- Extinction capacity according to class of fire (suppression time, extinguishing process implemented, water flow rate, residual water, hydraulic distribution, etc.),
- Cooling capacity of gases and smoke (reduced temperature level, maintaining reduced temperature),
- Heat radiation absorption capacity (in closed or external environments).
- Efectis performs firefighting training courses for firefighter instructors and international experts (CFBT-Fr).
Individual Protective Clothing
The effectiveness of the equipment can be determined according to the thermal protection capacity in real fire situations.
The assessment is based on a measuring dummy instrumented with 122 thermal sensors enabling the measurement of thermal protection time (TOMM by Efectis).
Jet fire testing
Jet-Fire Standard ISO 22899-1
The jet fire standard ISO 22899-1:2007 consists of simulating the thermal and mechanical loads resulting from high-pressure releases of flammable gas. Jet fires give rise to high convective and radiative heat fluxes as well as high erosive forces.
Hydrocarbon standard – UL 1709
The UL 1709 standard “Rapid Rise Fire Test of Protection Materials for Structural Steel” is one of the oldest and most frequently used furnace test standards for the Oil and Gas industry. The temperature rises from ambient temperature to 1093°C close to the test specimen within 5 minutes and is 154°C above the HC temperature time curve at 5 minutes.
The tests will be realized under ISO 17025 accreditation.
Special testing (real scale fire test, ad hoc tests, large calorimeter hood test [10MW]) (including engineering related test)
In some cases, standard tests are not appropriate for the assessment of fire protection products or system. As a consequence, some special tests are necessary to assess the fire behavior or the effectiveness of fire protection system. Efectis has at its disposal a range of experimental facilities to evaluate fire spread, combustion properties, and fire behavior of structural elements in real fire conditions.
Combustion testing under a calorimeter hood
Combustion tests under the calorimeter hood enables an optimization of the safety distances in the context of hazard studies of CIEP, and experimental data for fire safety engineering assessments to be obtained. This test enables the data necessary to characterize the consequences of a fire scenario to be established:
- Heat release rate
- Weight loss
- Combustion toxic gas
- Flame emissivity (heat radiation)
- Nature of the combustion and fire spread
Calorimeter hood (8m x 8m x 4m) equipped with a ground scale and a fixed fire extinguishing system
Full-scale tests on existing or mock-up structures (public buildings, tunnels, multilevel parking structures, warehouses, etc.)
Efectis has carried out numerous smoke and fire spread full-scale tests on the inside of existing or mock-up structures, in order to compare experimental results with modelling simulations. These tests usually necessitate a large number of sensors (over 300) to assess the main parameters characterizing:
- The development of the fire
- The flammability and critical heat flux of materials
- Fumigation and propagation of the smoke
- The fire behavior of the building elements and structures
Fire behavior in case of natural fire
Efectis has all the necessary equipment for a complete characterization of the fire behavior. With dedicated tools such as the mobile furnace, cabinets for the control of the electrical functionality of cables, and video endoscopes able to record inside the furnace.
Extinguishing tests of mobile and fixed systems
Efectis can carry out extinguishing tests of fixed and mobile systems (water mist, compressed air foam, sprinkler, and foam systems) in large confined spaces (10m high, tunnel infrastructures, or under calorimetric hood).
Ventilation and smoke extraction tests
Requirements in terms of comfort, safety, energy efficiency combined with the growing complexity of infrastructure require constantly evolving ventilation/smoke solutions. In conjunction with engineering design and verification studies, on-site testing is a means to assess the performance of currently installed ventilation systems.
Efectis OutLabs Ventilation is a company specialized in performing on-site testing related to building ventilation. With its engineering expertise about smoke and fire tests, Efectis OutLabs Ventilation offers a wide range of services, suitable for all types of structures, which include:
- Measurement of the air flow rates and pressure differences between rooms, in ventilation ducts, at vents, at fans, etc.
- Implementation of experimental fire source for producing hot, non-destructive and clean smoke, to visualize the movement of hot gases or to create realistic conditions for conducting safety exercises;
- Measurement of the temperature and the opacity of gases, with photos and video recordings of smoke movement.
Fire resistance and concrete spalling tests
The Efectis mobile furnace MobiFire is a flexible tool designed to quantify the fire resistance of immovable concrete structures, such as existing tunnels. In the past, for such concrete structures, there was no accurate method to assess the behavior in a fire situation. The MobiFire is able to expose surfaces to all internationally recognized fire curves: such as the RWS, HCM, RABT or ISO fire curve.
MobiFire tests may be part of a larger analyses of the tunnel. Efectis can assist you from the concept phase to the right testing procedures, testing equipment, safety documentation and verification stage. We can also help you in the cost-effective design of the fire protection system that might be needed to protect the structure against fire.
Click here for the MobiFire leaflet