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Performance evaluation of siding materials subjected to radiant heat loads
Published by (Joint Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and CFD Society of Canada)
Authors: Eder A. Villa-Coronel, Razim Refai, André McDonald. Published June 02, 2019
A methodology was developed to evaluate the fire-resistance of different commercially available siding materials when exposed to a high heat load condition (HHC) of 50 kW/m2 and a low heat flux condition (LHC) of 20 kW/m2. The siding materials that were selected for evaluation were engineered wood, fibre cement board, cedar siding, and vinyl siding. Oriented strand board (OSB) was selected as a control material for these experiments. Prototypes consisting of a siding material, a weather barrier (building paper), and (OSB) were fabricated and exposed to the radiant heat fluxes emitted from an electrically-powered radiant heater. Time to ignition and surface temperature data gathered from the burn tests of the siding material prototypes were the main metrics that served to gauge the effect of the heat load on the prototypes and to establish their failure point. Tests were terminated after 30 minutes or if a prototype failed; whichever occurred earlier. The failure criteria was defined as the time to ignition (TTI) of the prototype, where ignition could be due to flaming ignition of the siding material, or flaming or glowing ignition of the OSB behind the siding material. The results of these tests suggest that it was possible to differentiate the performance of different siding materials subjected to radiant heat loads by evaluating both its TTI and the temperature variation of its surfaces (thermal response). A variance analysis confirmed that some of the siding materials were statistically different between their TTI. The tests showed that cedar siding was the least ignition resistant material while fibre cement board was the most ignition resistant material under both radiant heat loads, in spite of that, the siding of this prototype did not ignite. Under the HHC, the results suggested that the use of engineered wood material represents no advantage when compared to bare OSB. Under the LHC, independently of the failure mechanism of engineered wood and vinyl siding, there was no significant difference between their times to reach the failure point. The temperature differences between the exposed and interface surfaces allowed to better understand the thermal behaviour of the siding materials.
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