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



Kudos to everyone involved in this testing. An
important step in brining straw bale construction into
the mainstream.

Maurice Bennett

--- strawnet@...:

>  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)
>
>
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Maurice and Joy Bennett


You must be the change you want to see in the world.   Gandhi