Standard Active Last Updated: Dec 07, 2022 Track Document
ASTM E1623-22a

Standard Test Method for Determination of Fire and Thermal Parameters of Materials, Products, and Systems Using an Intermediate Scale Calorimeter (ICAL)

Standard Test Method for Determination of Fire and Thermal Parameters of Materials, Products, and Systems Using an Intermediate Scale Calorimeter (ICAL) E1623-22A ASTM|E1623-22A|en-US Standard Test Method for Determination of Fire and Thermal Parameters of Materials, Products, and Systems Using an Intermediate Scale Calorimeter (ICAL) Standard new BOS Vol. 04.07 Committee E05
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Significance and Use

5.1 This test method is used primarily to determine the heat release rate of materials, products, and assemblies. Other parameters are the effective heat of combustion, mass loss rate, the time to ignition, smoke and gas production, emissivity, and surface temperature. Examples of test specimens are assemblies of materials or products that are tested in their end-use thickness. Therefore, the test method is suitable for assessing the heat release rate of a wall assembly.

5.2 Representative joints and other characteristics of an assembly shall be included in a specimen when these details are part of normal design.

5.3 This test method is applicable to end-use products not having an ideally planar external surface. The heat flux shall be adjusted to be that which is desired at the average distance of the surface from the radiant panel.

5.4 In this procedure, the specimens are subjected to one or more specific sets of laboratory test conditions. If different test conditions are substituted or the end-use conditions are changed, it is not always possible by or from this test to predict changes in the fire-test-response characteristics measured. Therefore, the results are valid only for the fire test exposure conditions described in this procedure.

5.5 Test Limitations: 

5.5.1 The test results have limited validity if: (a) the specimen melts sufficiently to overflow the drip tray, or (b) explosive spalling occurs.

5.5.2 Exercise caution in interpreting results of specimens that sag, deform, or delaminate during a test. Report observations of such behavior.


1.1 This fire-test-response standard assesses the response of materials, products, and assemblies to controlled levels of radiant heat exposure with or without an external ignitor.

1.2 The fire-test-response characteristics determined by this test method include the ignitability, heat release rates, mass loss rates, visible smoke development, and gas release of materials, products, and assemblies under well ventilated conditions.

1.3 This test method is also suitable for determining many of the parameters or values needed as input for computer fire models. Examples of these values include effective heat of combustion, surface temperature, ignition temperature, and emissivity.

1.4 This test method is also intended to provide information about other fire parameters such as thermal conductivity, specific heat, radiative and convective heat transfer coefficients, flame radiation factor, air entrainment rates, flame temperatures, minimum surface temperatures for upward and downward flame spread, heat of gasification, nondimensional heat of gasification (1)2 and the Φ flame spread parameter (see Test Method E1321). While some studies have indicated that this test method is suitable for determining these fire parameters, insufficient testing and research have been done to justify inclusion of the corresponding testing and calculating procedures.

1.5 The heat release rate is determined by the principle of oxygen consumption calorimetry, via measurement of the oxygen consumption as determined by the oxygen concentration and flow rate in the exhaust product stream (exhaust duct). The procedure is specified in 11.1. Smoke development is quantified by measuring the obscuration of light by the combustion product stream (exhaust duct).

1.6 Specimens are exposed to a constant heat flux in the range of 0 to 50 kW/m2 in a vertical orientation. Hot wires are used to ignite the combustible vapors from the specimen during the ignition and heat release tests. The assessment of the parameters associated with flame spread requires the use of line burners instead of hot wire ignitors.

1.6.1 Heat release measurements at low heat flux levels (< 10 kW/m2) require special considerations as described in Section A1.1.6.

1.7 This test method has been developed for evaluations, design, or research and development of materials, products, or assemblies, for mathematical fire modeling, or for research and development. The specimen shall be tested in thicknesses and configurations representative of actual end product or system uses.

1.8 Limitations of the test method are listed in Section 5.5.

1.9 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.10 This standard is used to measure and describe 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.

1.11 Fire testing is inherently hazardous. Adequate safeguards for personnel and property shall be employed in conducting these tests. Specific information about hazards is given in Section 7.

1.12 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.13 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.07
Developed by Subcommittee: E05.21
Pages: 24
DOI: 10.1520/E1623-22A
ICS Code: 13.220.50; 91.100.01