CAN/ULC-S102: Surface Burning Testing in Toronto
Surface burning performance of interior building surfaces is critical to all occupants to insure a safer environment, whether in a residence, office tower or industrial building. High risk areas such as exit routes, elevators, stairwells, industrial processing, etc. should utilize materials that minimize the spread of flames during a fire.
Developed by UL and Standard Council Canada, the National Building Code of Canada and provincial codes have specified CAN/ULC-S102 Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials and Assemblies, for the evaluation of interior building surfaces characteristics including walls, ceiling and flooring products. The CAN/ULC-S102 test, when conducted in triplicate, reports Flame Spread (FS) and Smoke Development (SD) values for the specific product or assembly evaluated.
CAN/ULC-S102 and CAN/ULC-S102.2 for flooring products, are found throughout the various Canadian building codes which define the requirements for materials used as interior finishes, requirements are commonly based on the building’s occupancy type and the use/non-use of sprinklers.
The CAN/ULC-S102 equipment, known as the Steiner Tunnel, exposes the material, 21” wide x 24’ long sample size, to a 90kW flame for a 10-minute duration. The flame propagation along the material’s exposed surface is visually observed and average Flame Spread value determined. A light and photoelectric cell record smoke obscuration during the test to validate the material’s smoke development characteristics. Oak flooring (FS=100, SD=100) and non-combustible cement board (FS=0, SD=0) provide a bases for calibration and reference.
Architects, engineers and building officials seek code compliant flame spread and smoke development performance results ensuring the appropriate selection of materials to mitigating the hazards associated with flame propagation on interior surfaces.