Austech External Building Products announces that its extruded polystyrene insulation product, Foamular has successfully passed the NFPA 285 fire test in many variations. Foamular’s approval now opens up more options for architects in exterior wall design.

The NFPA 285 fire test aims to confirm that combustible foam plastic insulation, when exposed to fire on the exterior face of the wall, does not spread flame over the surface or through the core of the otherwise non-combustible wall assembly. The test is carried out for a duration of 30 minutes on a full scale two storey wall assembly on the front side of a three-sided test structure.

The test wall has a window in the centre of the lower floor. In the test scenario, a flashover fire, unrelated to the foam plastic insulation, occurs in the lower room emitting a fire plume out of the room of origin through the window. Early in the 30-minute exposure, the fire plume wraps around the window head, extending up the exterior surface of the wall.

To pass the test, the wall assembly must demonstrate limited fire spread vertically and horizontally away from the window. The extent of fire spread is determined visually, measured in feet and by temperature, which is measured by thermocouples placed throughout the wall assembly.

When Foamular Commercial complete wall system was tested, the brick veneer stripped away just above the window lintel resulting in very limited fire spread and melting of the foam.