Additional Information - Posters # 2006 Washington DC
The primary reason for the regulation of the flammability of building materials is for the safety of the occupants of buildings and other structures. Building codes regulate the type of materials, their use and combustibility in all types of buildings. All jurisdictions have various versions of a building code, which can make it difficult to manufacture one product that will meet all the necessary minimum requirements. Building codes reference product standards which specify material properties (IZOD impact, tensile strength, tensile modulus, heat deflection temperature) and finished product specifications (drop impact testing), which can vary from country to country.
For use in non-combustible and high-rise buildings in Canada, there is a restriction placed on materials to meet a Flame Spread Classification (FSC) of 25 or less and a Smoke Developed Index (SDI) of 50 or less. An approximation of what a SDI of 50 would be is the smoke coming off a lit cigarette, compared to a cigar, which would be 100. CPVC, polysulfone and PVDF can meet these requirements, however they are in an economic competition with cast iron and copper. PVC would be a good choice of material to compete with cast iron and copper but it is not easy to impart the required flame and smoke requirements, while maintaining the necessary physical standards.
IPEX has introduced to the Canadian market a PVC DWV pipe that meets the flame and smoke requirements of 25/50 and still meets all the required physical properties. Now, the challenge is to reformulate the product to meet the required physical, flame and smoke properties and test methods from those in the United States and Europe.
This paper will discuss the differences between the building codes, as well as flame and smoke testing of Canada, the United States and Europe.