Cross-Laminated Timber Achieves Safety Requirements

Cedar Rapids, US: The first certified US manufacturer of cross-laminated timber (CLT) has achieved significant fire safety requirements under tests designed to gauge flame spread and fire resistance, as reported by the Woodworking Network. 

No other manufacturer of CLT has been certified under the new APA/ANSI manufacturing standard and has subjected its panels to such rigorous tests.

The president of the manufacturer said the panels are manufactured to the highest possible standards and perform safely under tough conditions. These tests prove people won’t sacrifice safety when they build with CLT.

The flame spread test was performed by QAI Laboratories in California using the standard flame spread and smoke density classification tests in accordance with ASTM Designation E84-15b. The test is about ‘Standard Method of Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials’, which identifies the rate of the spread of fire across the building material, and it places the results into three classifications: A, B, and C, with A being the highest rating and C being the lowest. 

The first certified US manufacturer of CLT has achieved an A rating, meaning there was minimal spread of fire across the building material over the test’s standard time period.

The fire resistance test was performed by Southwest Research Institute in Texas using ASTM E119-16 Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials. This test evaluates the duration for which a building material will contain a fire, or retain its structural integrity, during a predetermined fire exposure time.  

Despite being fully exposed, the panels passed the test, meaning it contained the fire and held its structural integrity for the full two hours.

According to one of the nation’s leading fire protection engineers, it is the first time in North America that a CLT panel has achieved both of these fire safety requirements and it’s a sign that advanced wood products, when engineered to the highest standards, are a safe alternative to other traditional building materials.


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