Active Standard ASTM D5537 | Developed by Subcommittee: D09.21
Book of Standards Volume: 10.02
Historical (view previous versions of standard)
Significance and Use
This test method provides a means to measure a variety of fire-test-response characteristics associated with heat and smoke release and resulting from burning the materials insulating electrical or optical fiber cables, when made into cables and installed on a vertical cable tray. The specimens are allowed to burn freely under well ventilated conditions after ignition by means of a propane gas burner.
The rate of heat release often serves as an indication of the intensity of the fire generated. General considerations of the importance of heat release rate are discussed in Appendix X1 and considerations for heat release calculations are in Appendix X2.
Other fire-test-response characteristics that are measurable by this test method are useful to make decisions on fire safety. The test method is also used for measuring smoke obscuration. The apparatus described here is also useful to measure gaseous components of smoke; the most important gaseous components of smoke are the carbon oxides, present in all fires. The carbon oxides are major indicators of the completeness of combustion and are often used as part of fire hazard assessment calculations and to improve the accuracy of heat release measurements.
The fire-test-response characteristics measured in this test are a representation of the manner in which the specimens tested behave under certain specific conditions. Do not assume they are representative of a generic fire performance of the materials tested when made into cables of the construction under consideration.
In particular, it is unlikely that this test is an adequate representation of the fire behavior of cables in confined spaces, without abundant circulation of air.
This is an intermediate-scale test, and the predictability of its results to large scale fires has not been determined. Some information exists to suggest validation with regard to some large-scale scenarios.
1.1 This is a fire-test-response standard.
1.2 This test method provides a means to measure the heat released and smoke obscuration by burning the electrical insulating materials contained in electrical or optical fiber cables when the cable specimens, excluding accessories, are subjected to a specified flaming ignition source and burn freely under well ventilated conditions. Flame propagation cable damage, by char length, and mass loss are also measured.
1.3 This test method provides two different protocols for exposing the materials, when made into cable specimens, to an ignition source (approximately 20 kW), for a 20 min test duration. Use it to determine the heat release, smoke release, flame propagation and mass loss characteristics of the materials contained in single and multiconductor electrical or optical fiber cables.
1.4 This test method does not provide information on the fire performance of materials insulating electrical or optical fiber cables in fire conditions other than the ones specifically used in this test method nor does it measure the contribution of the materials in those cables to a developing fire condition.
1.5 Data describing the burning behavior from ignition to the end of the test are obtained.
1.6 This test equipment is suitable for measuring the concentrations of certain toxic gas species in the combustion gases (see Appendix X4).
1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard (see ). The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to inch-pound units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.
1.8 This standard measures and describes the response of materials, products, or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled conditions, but does not by itself incorporate all factors required for fire hazard or fire risk assessment of the materials, products or assemblies under actual fire conditions..
1.9 Fire testing is inherently hazardous. Adequate safeguards for personnel and property shall be employed in conducting these tests.
1.10 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
NFPA StandardsNFPA 286 Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Evaluating Contribution of Wall and Ceiling Interior Finish to Room Fire Growth
D1711 Terminology Relating to Electrical Insulation
D5424 Test Method for Smoke Obscuration of Insulating Materials Contained in Electrical or Optical Fiber Cables When Burning in a Vertical Cable Tray Configuration
E84 Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials
E176 Terminology of Fire Standards
E603 Guide for Room Fire Experiments
E800 Guide for Measurement of Gases Present or Generated During Fires
E1354 Test Method for Heat and Visible Smoke Release Rates for Materials and Products Using an Oxygen Consumption Calorimeter
E1537 Test Method for Fire Testing of Upholstered Furniture
E2067 Practice for Full-Scale Oxygen Consumption Calorimetry Fire Tests
IEEE/ASTM SI-10 International System of Units (SI), The Modernized Metric System
IEEE StandardIEEE 1202 Standard for Flame Testing of Cables for Use in Cable Tray in Industrial and Commercial Occupancies Available from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), 445 Hoes Ln., P.O. Box 1331, Piscataway, NJ 08854-1331, http://www.ieee.org.
Underwriters Laboratories StandardsUL 1685 Standard Vertical Tray Fire Propagation and Smoke Release Test for Electrical and Optical Fiber Cables
Canadian Standards Association StandardCSA FT4, Vertical Fl No. 0.3, Test Methods for Electrical Wires and Cables Available from Canadian Standards Association (CSA), 5060 Spectrum Way, Mississauga, ON L4W 5N6, Canada, http://www.csa.ca.