Fire and smoke tests
Standard fire tests
IFAB is an accredited test laboratory according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 for carrying out fire tests as approval of effectiveness for water based fire-fighting systems. The recording of measured variables such as temperatures, system pressures of the fire-fighting system and gas concentrations (oxygen and smoke gases: carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide) belong to it. Full scale fire tests and measurements are carried out according to valid norms and guidelines of IMO, FM, CEN, DIN, VdS for standard buildings, industrial buildings and plants as well as according to the ARGE guideline and UNI 11565 for rolling stock.
Additional measured variables (visibility, flowrates of gases and liquids, gas concentrations and humidity and others) that are required to be recorded in the norms and guidelines can be determined with our mobile IFAB measurement system. The determination of heat release rate is carried out in real time by approved calculations methods.
Standard smoke tests
IFAB carries out smoke tests for the already above mentioned applications such as industrial buildings, tunnels, metro stations or rolling stock. IFAB owns the necessary equipment of heat sources, fog generators or smoke powders. This gear is used for the approval of efficiency of smoke extraction systems, the distribution of smoke gases or positioning of smoke detectors in rail vehicles. The following norms and guidelines have already been applied for smoke tests:
|Standard||Title of the standard||Test item|
|ARGE-Guideline – Part 1: 2018||Fire-fighting in Rolling Stock: Functional proof procedure for the positioning of fire detectors in rooms accessible to persons, in electric cabinets and in areas of combustion engines||Fire alarm system|
|DIN EN 54||Fire detection and fire alarm systems|
|DIN EN 54 – Part 12||Smoke detectors – Line detectors using an optical light beam|
|DIN EN 54 – Part 20||Aspirating smoke detectors|
|DIN EN 54 – Part 22||Resettable line-type heat detectors|
|VDI guideline 6019 Page 1||Engineering methods for the dimensioning of systems for the removal of smoke from buildings – Fire curves, verification of effectiveness||Smoke extraction|
Hot smoke tests for rail vehicles
A special feature is the hot smoke testing in rail vehicles according to ARGE-Guideline part 1. It is used as functional proof procedure for the positioning of fire detectors. The primary objective is to measure response times of detectors with standardized test procedures. There might be also some other objectives like locating the fire which is essential for triggering automatic on board fire suppression systems or shutdown of HVAC systems. Hot smoke tests are the most practical and realistic way to test fire detection systems in rolling stock.
The test itself is non-destructive and does not cause any harm to persons or to the vehicle. IFAB’s test equipment fulfils ARGE-guideline requirements. The response times of detection systems are measured in order to assess pass and fail criteria. It is very important to ensure that all possible vehicle operating scenarios are tested, e.g. HVAC on/off, doors open/close, as such conditions have different impacts to smoke movements. Other detection methods, based on e.g. temperature or ﬂame criterion, may be used in combination with smoke detection. These can be assessed either experimentally or partly by using CFD in addition. IFAB is able to test such detection systems using different fire scenarios.
Non-standard fire and smoke tests (ad-hoc tests)
IFAB offers all fire test services and smoke test services from a single source, which eliminates the need for any lengthy and costly discussions with third parties. Our team takes of the entire process, starting from the experimental concept, followed by the coordination and organization with other test laboratories and authorities up to the supply of customized measurement solutions including the measurement recording and evaluation.
Besides the accredited test procedures for full scale fire tests, IFAB develops as an independent test laboratory application-specific test procedures which are not standardized. Application examples are:
• Atria and glass facades,
• Slopy seating in theaters and great ceilings heights,
• Industrial plants storages with conveyor belts,
• Coating plants,
• Compact archives,
• Storages of synthetic materials,
• Deep fat fryers.
IFAB develops test concepts in accordance to the methods from DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 that serves the approval of the efficiency of the following plants:
• Fire detection systems or fire alarm systems,
• Fire-fighting systems and extinguishing systems,
• Smoke extraction systems and heat extraction systems.
Special attention is applied to the development and dimensioning of design fires and design fire scenarios. These ones have to be configured in a way that on the one hand the application case is represented and on the other hand it has to be sufficiently precise reproducible. Such requirements are ensured by the use of suitable auxiliary fire loads with well-known burning properties.
The development of such test series is carried out in close consultation of the licensing offices (VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH, TÜV Nord, TÜV Süd or TÜV Rheinland or the DEKRA). Therefore, the pass of evaluation criteria that were defined in the test concept leads to an approval of the tested application.