ASTM E-84 Testing Proves Low Flame & Smoke of Harvel CPVC Products

Sample of Harvel CPVC pipe subjected to ASTM E-84 large-scale burn testing.
Sample of Harvel CPVC pipe subjected to ASTM E-84 large-scale burn testing.
Harvel CPVC Pipe Harvel CPVC Duct
Harvel CPVC pipe is available in Schedules 40 and 80, industrial pipe sizes, 1/4" through 24" diameters. Harvel CPVC duct for industrial hot corrosive fume and drain handling systems is available in 6" through 24" diameter

(Easton, Pa.) – New independent laboratory testing conducted recently by Harvel Plastics, Inc. proves that the company’s CPVC pipe and duct have exceptionally low flame spread and smoke development ratings when tested to ASTM E-84 Steiner Tunnel Testing (UL 723). The large-scale burn testing was carried out on Harvel’s currently ULC Listed CPVC piping products for comparative data. Harvel CPVC piping has improved fire performance properties over PVC piping and other plastics due to the presence of additional chlorine atoms on the polymer molecule.

The tests demonstrate that:

  • Harvel® CPVC pipe cannot be the ignition source of a fire.
  • Harvel® CPVC pipe will not sustain burning; it must be forced to burn due to its high limiting oxygen index.
  • Harvel® CPVC pipe is considered self-extinguishing. It will not burn unless a flame is constantly applied, and stops burning when the ignition source is removed.
  • Harvel® CPVC pipe has a low heat of combustion, much less than wood and other types of plastic.

Greater emphasis is being placed on the use of fire-safe materials in many industries. This issue is typically driven and enforced by building codes and insurance carriers to address life safety issues. To address fire performance concerns of combustible products installed in critical areas such as return air plenums, building codes require that products installed within these areas have a maximum flame spread rating of 25, and a maximum smoke development rating of 50 when tested in accordance with ASTM E-84 (UL 723).

The language of the codes states: "Combustibles within ducts or plenums shall have a flame spread index of not more than 25 and a smoke developed rating of not more than 50 when tested in accordance with the test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials."

Large-scale testing is conducted on Harvel finished product (24-foot-long sections of pipe) to more accurately reflect how actual pipe performs during fire exposure. Results show that Harvel currently ULC Listed products provide similar results when the same product is tested to ASTM E-84 (UL 723); having a flame spread ≤25 and smoke development rating ≤50. Harvel is the only pipe manufacturer that has tested CPVC piping to ASTM E-84. Harvel CPVC piping products are "Fire Safe" materials that meet the 25/50 flame and smoke requirements of the major building codes.

Harvel CPVC piping products are Listed by ULC to ULC S102.2 Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics. To maintain the Listing, the Listing requires follow-up services that include testing, facility audits, traceability, and marking requirements (i.e., the flame spread and smoke development ratings are printed on the pipe for easy identification in the field). ASTM E-84 (UL 723) is a test method (not a product Listing) that is used to quantify surface burning characteristics of materials.