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| Fire| Building Code Australia (BCA)
Fabric flame retardancy requirements under the Building Code Australia (BCA)
Two Australian Standards relating to fabric fire retardancy are AS1530.2 and AS1530.3
AS1530.2 Flammability of materials
The test fabric is hung vertically. The fabric is then ignited at the bottom using a pilot flame. The spread of the flame is then measured up and across the fabric. From this, a Flammability Index is produced being a number between 0 (least hazardous) and 100 (most hazardous). The test shows how quickly flame can spread from the floor to the ceiling using blinds as a carrier.
AS1530.3 Simultaneous determination of ignitability, flame propagation, heat release and smoke release.
The test fabric is put into a frame for support. The heat source is a gas-fired ceramic panel. This panel begins 850mm in front of the fabric and is moved closer every 30 seconds. The closest the ceramic panel gets to the fabric is 175mm. This test is a measure of the fabric's performance under radiated heat only such as when a heater is placed close to a blind - not with direct exposure to flame.
Main Indices from
• Ignitability Index 0(best)-20(worst)
: Only given if fabric ignites.
• Spread of Flame 0 -10
: Did ignite but went out.
• Heat Evolved Index 0 -10
: Heat given off.
• Smoke Developed Index 0 -10
Amount of smoke released.
REQUIREMENTS UNDER BCA
is not required for our fabrics under the B.C.A. In some parts of the country, the B.C.A. is overridden by specific state requirements or local government body by-laws. The requirements may vary from area to area and generally, a Flammability Index of 6 is sufficient but specific requirements should be checked with the local building authority.
The B.C.A. only makes reference to the Spread of Flame Index and the Smoke Developed Index.
Spread of Flame Index: 9
Smoke Developed Index: 8
(Page C45 of SCA)
As it applies to Uniline fabrics:
When the AS1530.3 test is the only test called for (where the B.C.A. is the relevant code), all Uniline fabrics comply to the basic requirements. There are no specific requirements for domestic applications. When the AS1530.2 test is required (when it's called for under the various local codes) Atherton, Uniscreen, 5th Avenue and Uniview fabrics are recommended.
Validity of test results:
1. The test should be an official copy from the AWTA.
2. The test method quoted on the AS1530.3 report should be the 1989 version. For the AS1530.2 it should be the 1993 version.