Standard: UL9 - Standard for Fire Tests of Window Assemblies

Certification Required: The requirements for UL 9 certification can be found throughout the International Building Code in Chapter 7 for various types of window assemblies.

Scope: Fire endurance and hose stream test of window assemblies of various materials and types for use in wall openings to prevent the passage of fire.

Applicable Products: Window assemblies mounted in a wall, including glass block and other light transmitting assemblies

Test Procedure: The test specimen (window 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 UL 9 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 window and frame interface and any other hardware prep in the assembly. For positive pressure applications, the neutral pressure plane will be established such that at least 2/3 of the height of the window assembly is located above the neutral pressure plane 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 window 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/movement requirements for the window assembly, and certain requirements for glass edge separation and breakage.

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 subsequently driven by Chapter 7 of the IBC based on application.

Intertek Testing Locations: Middleton, WI; Coquitlam, BC; Elmendorf, TX; York, PA


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