|Flame and Smoke Rated Options & Fire Stopping|
Flame Spread Index
The Flame Spread Index gives a relative indication of how quickly a material will allow fire to move along it. Testing is done per CAN/ULCS102.2 in Canada and ASTM E84 in the US. The Aquatherm Green Pipe and Aquatherm Blue Pipe systems both have a FSI of less then 25. This makes the pipes suitable for most applications, but a review of local requirements is always necessary.
Smoke Development Index
While much of the danger of a fire is from the gas toxicity of the products of combustion, this is not a concern with Aquatherm Green Pipe and Aquatherm Blue Pipe. The smoke produced by Aquatherm piping materials is mostly water vapor, and is not dangerous to people or animals. However, the test standards used in today's codes were developed over 50 years ago and do not account for this significant difference. So while not a health issue, the SDI values for standard Aquatherm Green Pipe and Aquatherm Blue Pipe are between 100 and 150. It is important to address this issue where applicable.
The SDI is normally only a concern when a pipe is exposed in a high-rise application, or when the pipe is installed in a return-air plenum. When the pipe is installed behind a gypsum wall board, SDI is not required. The required SDI requirements can be met in a number of ways:
- Aquatherm offers several versions of its piping systems that meet the SDI requirements. These are addressed in the next section.
- Route piping inside of non-fire rated interior walls or conceal it behind a gypsum board finish.
- Avoid the use a Return-Air Plenums (RAPs). RAPs introduce a number of health and safety issues into a building including Indoor Air Quality issues. IAQ issues include mold and dust buildup in the plenums compounded by the fact that plenums, are nearly impossible to clean. Fires can easily spread to plenums and then to the rest of the building quickly. Fires are difficult to fight once in a plenum. Therefore, for health and safety reasons, Aquatherm recommends that air for ventilation and comfort be ducted to and from each space and RAPs should not be used.