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

Congratulations...2 hours! 
Dan Smith

-----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 1:55 PM
To: GSBN@...
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
 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&#xA1; F temperature rise in the first
5 minutes and then steadily increasing temperatures to approximately
1850&#xA1; 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&#xA1;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&#xA1;F and none
of the other thermocouples got that hot. The temperature at the
beginning of the test was 88&#xA1;F so this was a maximum temperature rise on
the unheated side of the wall of 76&#xA1; 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&#xA1; outside
 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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