Early in 2014, UL 10D was made a new standard for fire tests using protective fire curtains. The details of this are outlined on UL website and quoted at the end of this post.
What does this mean?
UL 10D being a new standard means that architects, engineers, and building officials can now feel more comfortable knowing that fire rated deployable curtains have been thoroughly tested, approved by UL, and that this test is an official UL standard for all products of this type.
Fire curtains are a fantastic tool for architects and engineers to use as a component of a smoke control system. These kinds of systems are commonly needed in atrium spaces or around open stairs to manage the movement of smoke in a building fire so that occupants have time to safely evacuate.
UL10D uses the exact same time and temperature curve as UL10C in the testing furnace (approaching or exceeding 2000°F over a two hour test period). The only difference between the two test standards is that the UL10C also does a hose stream test after the fire furnace. Because fire curtains are not used as structural building components, like a wall for example, they do not need to be subjected to this.
Fire-rated deployable curtains have been used for atriums since the mid-90s here in the US and for 30 years or more in Europe and other parts of the world. However, now that UL has a standard for testing these products the market for them should expand dramatically over the years to come.
Photos of Fire Testing
Photos of Smoke Curtains We Offer
Details of UL 10D Standard
1.1 These requirements cover the evaluation of fire protective curtain assemblies intended to provide supplemental, passive fire protection as part of an engineered fire protection system. Fire protective curtain assemblies provide nonstructural separation only, and are not intended to be substituted for structural hourly rated partitions or opening protectives that have been tested for fire endurance and hose stream performance.Note: Fire protective curtains are different than proscenium type (theater type) curtains. This document does not apply to proscenium type curtains.
1.2 Tests made in conformity with these test methods are intended to register performance during the test exposure; but such tests shall not be construed as determining suitability for use after exposure to fire.
1.3 It is the intent that tests made in conformity with these test methods allow for the development of data to enable regulatory bodies to determine the suitability of fire protective curtain assemblies for use in locations where fire protection of a specified duration is required.
1.4 These methods are intended to evaluate the ability of fire protective curtain assemblies to remain in an opening during a predetermined test exposure.
1.5 The tests expose a specimen to a standard fire exposure controlled to achieve specified temperatures throughout a specified time period. The exposure, however, is not representative of all fire conditions, which vary with changes in ventilation and compartment size and configuration. It does, however, provide a relative measure of fire performance of fire protective curtain assemblies under these specified fire exposure conditions.
1.6 Any variation from the construction or conditions that are tested is capable of substantially changing the performance characteristics of the fire protective curtain assembly.
1.7 This test method does not provide the following:
a) Full information as to performance of all fire protective curtain assemblies in walls constructed of materials other than those tested.
b) Evaluation of the degree by which the fire protective curtain assembly contributes to the risk of fire by generation of smoke, toxic gases, or other products of combustion.
c) A temperature limit on the unexposed side of the fire protective curtain assembly.
d) Measurement of the degree of control or limitation of the passage of smoke or products of combustion through the fire protective curtain assembly.Note: See limitations for the passage of smoke detailed in the Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives, NFPA 105.
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