ACM Rainscreen Panel System Meets NFPA 285 Testing

SAF, a global metals distributor, fabricator, and finisher, recently completed the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 285 testing and passed for its C-4000 Series, a drained and back-ventilated aluminum composite material (ACM) rainscreen panel system. SAF’s C-4000 Series system underwent testing in May 2021 and may now be used in NFPA 285-compliant wall assemblies.

SAF’s C-4000 Series system underwent testing in May 2021 and may now be used in NFPA 285-compliant wall assemblies.

“Completing and passing the NFPA 285 testing provides peace of mind to our customers that when choosing SAF, they are choosing protection and safety for end users and building occupants,” says John McClatchey, vice president of sales and marketing at SAF. “NFPA standards are designed to eliminate injury and loss of life due to fire, and we are proud to offer products that fulfill those requirements when installed in an NFPA 285-compliant wall assembly.”

Compliance with the standard gives architects, designers, and SAF customers more design freedom when specifying C-4000 Series for multi-story buildings, allowing them to fully understand its potential for flame spread, and providing assurance that its flammability characteristics meet the accepted NFPA 285 standards.

NFPA 285 is a full-scale, 30-minute pass/fail test that determines how an exterior wall assembly will perform in a real-world, multi-story fire. The test includes continuous visual observation of flames as well as ongoing temperature measurements. Individual products cannot be tested or deemed compliant by the NFPA 285 test. The evaluation only takes into consideration fully-constructed wall assemblies.

The SAF assembly that was tested and passed was comprised of:

  • SAF C-4000 wall panels
    • 4-millimeter Alucobond Plus
    • SAF extrusions
  • 2-inch-thick, 4 pounds per cubic foot (PCF) mineral wool exterior insulation
  • Tremco Exo-Air 230 water-resistive barrier
  • 1/2-inch Georgia Pacific DensGlass exterior sheathing
  • Aluminum Z girts

The NFPA 285 test is required by code in certain circumstances and serves as an assurance of protection. Required NFPA 285 testing can be triggered by three types of wall assemblies: Plastic foam insulation, combustible weather-resistant barriers, and combustible claddings such as ACM and MCM.

The SAF-commissioned NFPA 285 test for C-4000 was conducted at the state-of-the-art ICC NTA LLC Fire Lab in Bryan, Texas.

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