ASTM E84 Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics

ASTM E84 test method is used to measure and describe the response of materials, products, or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled conditions. The test applies to exposed interior surfaces such as walls and ceilings. The test is conducted with the specimen in the ceiling position with the surface to be evaluated face down towards the ignition source.

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    ASTM E84test method is used for evaluating the surface burning characteristics of building products. The purpose of this test method is to determine the relative burning behavior of the material by observing the Flame Spread Index (FSI) along with the specimen. The flame spread and smoke-developed index are reported.

    Test Procedure:

    The ASTM E84 test exposes a nominal 24-foot long by 20-inch wide test specimen to a controlled airflow and a flaming fire is adjusted to spread the flame along the entire length of a specimen in 5 and 1/2 minutes. During the 10-minute test duration, flame spread over the specimen surface and the density of the resulting smoke are measured and recorded. Test results are calculated relative to a specimen. The test results are expressed as Flame Spread Index and Smoke Developed Index.

    Video 01: ASTM E84 Steiner tunnel chamber

    Specimen size:

    The specimen is representative of the materials.


    The size of the test specimen

    Width: between 20 and 24 in. (508 and 610 mm)

    Length: 24 ft. + 12 in. – 6 in. 

    Thickness: maximum 4 in. (101 mm).


    Burning characteristics of various materials are determined as a result of the ASTM E84 test method. The results help with the specification of their applications and deal with the enhancement of their quality. 


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