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A typical fire test sequence is described, primarily by illustrations of the facilities and equipment. The fabrication of the specimen, its preparation for test, and the character and control of the exposure fire are depicted. Although unexpected and bizarre results are occasionally recorded, the majority of tests result in the development of fire-resistance ratings, with the end point being reached in the surface temperature. Details of construction of the test specimen that appear of little significance will often influence the performance in the fire test. Examples of this condition are described, confirming the necessity for careful examination of the report of such tests.
Despite the use of this test method for many years, a number of features are still being studied and discussed by various groups. Curing practices for the concrete used in the fire-resistance assemblies, restraint of the test specimen, load calculations, deflection limits, and temperature limits for structural members are current topics for consideration with a view to further revision and refinement of the test method.
Managing Engineer, Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., Northbrook, Ill.