What it is and how to achieve good fire ratings
An EN13501-1 test standard is a classification standard using test data from reaction to fire tests for the fire performance of products in early stages of a fire. Some products do not react significantly to fire, while others react quickly even to very small flame exposures. Reaction to fire tests indicates whether the product will become involved in the growth of fire in the room of origin, up to the time when flashover occurs, or does not occur.
For each classification system there is specific test chosen to reflect the expected performance based on the specific fire tests that need to be carried out from the best performing Euroclass A1 to the poorest Euroclass E or F. Under EuroClass A1, there are two test methods need to be carried out. EN ISO 1182: Reaction to fire tests for products - Non-combustibility test and EN ISO 1717: Determination of the gross heat of combustion (calorific value). The Euroclass A1 rating confirms that it does not cause any sustained flaming in the non-combustibility test. In A1 products containing any organic component, the energy which it releases will be very limited.
EN ISO 1182 (Non-combustibility) test method is very similar to that of BS 476 Part 4. A cylindrical specimen is place in a cylindrical furnace preheated to 750°C. This test identifies products that will not, or significantly not, contribute to a fire.
EN ISO 1716 (calorific value) test determined the potential maximum amount of energy release which can be generated by a product when complete combustion occurs. Specimens are prepared from each individual component of a product by grinding them into powder. Each component is then tested in an oxygen bomb colorimeter by placing the specimen in a crucible within a stainless steel vessel filled with oxygen and pressure. A spark is then introduced; exploding the mixture and the resultant temperature rise will be used to calculate the calorific value of the specimen.