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Re: GSBN:First ASTM E-119 Full Scale Fire Test with Hose Stream Test - PASSED!

Hi you pyromaniacs

Congratulations on your results.
Good luck with your next test.
I know what the feeling is after successful testing - like we did in Aussie after our tests.


Bohdan Dorniak
----- Original Message ----- From: strawnet@...
To: GSBN@...
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2006 7:24 AM
Subject: GSBN:First ASTM E-119 Full Scale Fire Test with Hose Stream Test - PASSED!

Hi all,

Just a quick report from Elmendorf, Texas...
The first straw bale fire test was completed just a couple of hours ago - successfully! This was the wall with two string (polypropylene ties) bales on-edge and cement-lime stucco. The test ran for the full two hours followed by the hose stream test. We were well within the limits of temperature rise and had no water penetration through the unheated side of the wall after 2-1/2 minutes of fire hose blasting from 20 feet away at a nozzle pressure of 30psi. This pressure would be sufficient to knock a man down if you hit him in the chest with it...not a trivial force.

A few details... in the first twenty minutes or so we saw cracks develop in the stucco on the heated side. By half an hour into the test we started to see some flames coming from those cracks - which intensified throughout the rest of the test as the cracks in the stucco grew larger and longer. The stucco bulged outward away from the bales over a good percentage of the wall on the heated side - perhaps as much as 8 or 10 inches away in the lower middle of the wall.

The test requires approximately a 1000° F temperature rise in the first 5 minutes and then steadily increasing temperatures to approximately 1850° F at the end of two hours. Steam and then steam and smoke were visible coming from the top of the wall after the first few minutes and eventually there was a steady, though not huge amount of smoke coming from the upper sides and top of the panel. The bales tested at about 19 percent moisture content just prior to beginning the test. This is a somewhat high moisture content caused by wetting the stucco for curing and then covering both sides of the panels with heavy plastic to keep the walls from drying out during curing.

The temperature on the unheated side of the wall reached 166°F for the highest reading (at one of the upper thermocouples) but that reading dropped in the last twenty minutes or so of the test to 164°F and none of the other thermocouples got that hot. The temperature at the beginning of the test was 88°F so this was a maximum temperature rise on the unheated side of the wall of 76° F.

Significantly, when the test panel was pulled away from the furnace, the entire stucco skin on the heated side of the wall fell away. There was a flame-up that lasted less than a minute and went out on its own. So when the hose stream test began, it was blasting on unprotected bales! This is pretty close to the worst case scenario - bales on edge, with all the poly ties burned away, and no stucco to deflect the water stream. And it still passed. There was charring ranging from an inch or two to almost a foot in a few places near the edges corners and at the top with an average of about 3 - 4 inches of straw burned away.

There will be more details about this in the near future, and another report tomorrow afternoon after we fire test the earthen plastered wall. But for now, we're celebrating and thinking about suitable beverages for the occasion! We took lots of video and pics and they should be available somewhere in the near future.

It'll be a hot time in the old town tonight - but not as hot as it was earier in the day...

Warmest regards (and I do mean warmest - it must be over 100° outside now...)

David Eisenberg (and Matts Myhrman, Bruce King, Ben Obregon, Bill Christensen, Frank Meyer and a few others)

Check out AOL.com today. Breaking news, video search, pictures, email and IM. All on demand. Always Free.

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