The resistance of geosynthetics to fire is herein explored, a review of existing specifications on the subject is aimed. Existing fire codes in USA and Canada are oriented toward building safety. In such applications, test methods have been widely used, for instance, ASTM E84, ASTM E119, CAN/ULC S102, CAN/ULC S101. The risk related to fire with geosynthetics may also been of a great concern. The consequence of fire on geosynthetics is strongly suspected to cause a functional failure of the materials. For instance, a polymeric geomembrane may melt or flame, no longer meeting containment function for which the geomembrane was designed for. For road applications, the melt-down of polymeric geogrids or geocells could end up in a catastrophe, or landslide. For combustible or flammable liquid containment application, the CAN/ULC S668-12 has established criteria for the resistance of geomembranes to hydrocarbons, but also fire. A simple test was implemented, and is still used as a proof of resistance of polymeric geomembranes to fire. This test validates if the fire sustains or not after a short flaming (12 seconds). However, this type of test does not evaluate how the fire-retardant material will slow down the propagation of a flame, if any residual property remains, or if the smoke from this fire is toxic. The purpose of establishing standards specific to geosynthetics is to cover a wider range of applications and products, not only geomembranes for instance. Secondly, a guide is considered to also cover the side effects of fire with geosynthetics. 2.1 This guide is intended for geosynthetics in the event of an exposure to a fire. Such geosynthetics include geomembranes for lining applications (i.e. oil and gas, landfill) and other geosynthetics used in civil infrastructures. Example of applications: Landfills, and liquid containment Reinforcing walls What other applications could be considered? Any specific interests from the committee members, or case studies to share?
Keywordsfire, fire resistance, flammability, geomembrane, infrastructure, landfill
Geosynthetics may exhibit different response to fire. This test method is intended to provide a mean to classify geosynthetics exposed to fire. Additional questions to be answered: For instance, are routine tests or qualification tests required? Are special configurations to be more critical on fire hazards? Regulations in building materials and their resistance to fire is define by National Fire Codes. Should NFPA or a similar organism be involved in the development of the fire resistance of geosynthetics?
The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.Back to Top