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New ASTM Fire Standard Provides Detailed Description of Extended Duration Surface Burning Characteristics


A new ASTM International standard provides a more detailed and complete description of a test protocol that has been used for more than 40 years in code requirements and specifications for fire-retardant-treated wood. This test is now also used in some codes for building products that are not wood.

The new standard, ASTM E2768, Test Method for Extended Duration Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials (30 Min. Tunnel Test), was developed by Subcommittee E05.22 on Surface Burning, part of ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards.

According to Robert H. White, Ph.D., a scientist with the Forest Products Laboratory, the procedure described in ASTM E2768 is often described in building codes and specifications as a “30 minute ASTM E84 test.” However, the duration of the procedure described in ASTM E84, Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, is for 10 minutes and there is no reference to a 30-minute test option.

“In providing a detailed and complete description of the protocol, ASTM E2768 provides users of the test reports a better understanding of some of the intricacies of the protocol and the reporting of the results,” says White. “It will allow the regulatory language to simply be a reference to the standard. It allows test laboratories to make reference to ASTM E2768 in their test reports and be able to clearly state whether the product met the performance criteria of the standard.”

ASTM E2768
will be used in a variety of ways by: writers of regulatory documents, codes and specifications who need to make reference to the test protocol and the corresponding performance requirements (or pass/fail criteria); test laboratories in the preparation of applicable test reports; and editors who need to prepare short and concise news releases on successful test results for company product.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation number, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 610-832-9585;  ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, visit

ASTM Committee E05 Next Meeting: Dec. 4-7, 2011, December Committee Week, Tampa, Fla.
Technical Contact: Robert H. White, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wis., Phone: 608-231-9265;
ASTM Staff Contact: Thomas O’Toole, Phone: 610-832-9739;
ASTM PR Contact: Barbara Schindler, Phone: 610-832-9603;

Release #8966

September 19, 2011

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