ASTM E119 is only one test used o determine the effectiveness of fire protective coatings. The test does not measure all of the factors involved in a fire. To rate a coatings ability to resist these important aspects of a building fire, paint manufacturers turn to a selection of other fire resistance tests.
This fire resistance test measures the ability of a fire protective coating to resist the spread of flames for a short period of time. The test subjects a treated surface to flame for ten minutes, during which the thermal energy radiating from the material is measured. FM 4975 is meant for use with a narrow range of building materials, including Douglas fir plywood and ceiling tiles.
From Underwriter’s Laboratories, the painting industry uses UL 1715, the fire test of interior finish material, to further evaluate the performance of fire protective coatings. This test measures flame spread across the surface, and is thus a valuable indicator of the protective qualities of a fire resistant paint.
Another test from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the E662-97 measures the density of smoke produced by burning solids. Combined with the data generated by the other fire resistance tests, the E662-97 helps provide a detailed picture of how well fire protective coatings work.
Proven fire protective coatings are a valuable addition to buildings fire safety methods, and they effectively augment other safety measures such as sprinklers and fire suppression systems.