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Evaluation of Fire Properties of Generic Gypsum Board Products.



James R. Lawson


An evaluation of the fire properties of generic gypsum board products was made in order to obtain a better understanding of the material's reaction to a fire environment. These gypsum board products are typically used in wall and ceiling assemblies throughout the United States. Four small-scale fire test methods were used in the examination of the materials' fire properties. The tests conducted were for potential heat, ease of ignition by flame impingement, rate of heat release, and rate of flame spread. All of these properties are of major importance in the design of a building. The influence the potential rate of fire growth in a room. Standard fire test methods were used for the development of data on rate of flame spread and potential hat characteristics. The ease of ignition and rate of heat release characteristics were determined by fire tests recently developed at the National Bureau of Standards. Test results showed that the potential heat for the materials examined ranged from 510 J/g (220 Btu/lb) to 2670 J/g (1150 Btu/lb). The ingitability of the materials spanned from 42 to 171 seconds, while the peak heat release averages ranged from a 2.5 to 4.8 W/cm(2) on an unpiloted 4 W/cm(2) exposure and 3.9 to 8.2 W/cm(2) on an unpiloted 6 W/cm(2) exposure. This flame spread index for the materials ranged from 8 to 38.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


fire tests, gypsum, potential heat


Lawson, J. (1977), Evaluation of Fire Properties of Generic Gypsum Board Products., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created August 1, 1977, Updated February 19, 2017