NFPA 252: Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies
Standard: NFPA 252 – Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies
Certification Required: The requirements for NFPA 252 certification can be found throughout the International Building Code in Chapter 7 for various types of door and frame assemblies.
Scope: Fire endurance and hose stream test of door assemblies of various materials and types for use in wall openings to prevent the passage of fire.
Applicable Products: Door and frame assemblies mounted in a wall, including swinging doors, sliding or rolling doors, horizontal slide-type elevator doors, access doors, chute doors, dumbwaiter doors, service-counter doors. Door and frame hardware is also applicable
Test Procedure: The test specimen (door assembly) is mounted in a test wall assembly, which typically consists of masonry or drywall and stud construction. The entire test assembly is then mounted to a test furnace and is exposed to specified temperatures throughout a specified time period.
Testing to NFPA 252 can be conducted as a neutral pressure fire test, in that the neutral pressure plane within the furnace is established at the top of the test specimen, or it can be conducted as a positive pressure fire test. For neutral pressure applications, this means that any areas of the test specimen below the neutral pressure plane will be exposed to negative furnace pressure, which will result in ambient air from the unexposed side of the test assembly being drawn into the furnace between the door and frame interface and any other prep in the assembly (i.e. vision kit, etc.). For positive pressure applications, the neutral pressure plane will be established at 40 inches up from the bottom of the test specimen which will result in anything below the neutral pressure plane being exposed to negative furnace pressure and anything above the neutral pressure plane being exposed to positive furnace pressure. Areas under positive furnace pressure will experience hot furnace gases being forced through the door and frame interface and other hardware preps leading to an increased possibility of test specimen degradation.
Following the fire endurance portion of the test, the side of the test assembly that was exposed to fire is then exposed to the cooling and erosion effects of the hose stream for a specified time period that is dependent on the test specimen size and the fire endurance time period. Generally speaking, conditions of acceptance include but are not limited to certain flaming requirements for the test specimen on the unexposed side of the assembly, certain deflection requirements for the door assembly, and no through openings developing during the fire endurance or hose stream tests.
End Result: Successful completion of this test will result in a fire protection rating for the product based on the fire endurance duration it was tested to. Eligible fire protection ratings are based on the test standard (I.e. 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 180, or 240 minutes) and are subsequently driven by Chapter 7 of the IBC based on application.
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