.At Stone Panels Inc.®, we feel it’s important to prove our stone products can stand up to tests in every realistically conceivable scenario they might endure. There aren’t many products in the world that should be tested as much as the materials that are used in buildings where thousands of people work and live.
Our testing gives both builders and building occupants the peace of mind they need from the buildings around them. Builders and occupants can know that the material of the building in question can withstand the harshest of conditions and stand up to the tests of both man and mother nature better than any alternative stone products, if it’s our stone panel product.
Structural and Impact Load Tests
Whether it be earthquakes, hurricane-force winds or man-made disasters, structural and impact load testing has a number of applications in the real-world for users of our stone products. In perhaps one of our most exciting to watch tests, 2×4 wooden planks were fired at our stone panel product at speeds of over 50 feet per second.
If the results of this test don’t tell you how our StoneLite® holds up against extreme debris scenarios, we don’t know what will. Our stone panel product was never penetrated or chipped. Along with passing some intense testing for wind load, this series of test helped our stone products receive one of its many certifications: South Florida Building Code.
After the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, which took place in 1995, multiple criterion was debuted for government buildings by several official entities with the intent of reducing potential hazards from such bomb attacks. In order to meet criteria established by both the General Services Administration and the Interagency Security Committee, our product underwent full-scale blast testing. The results of these tests were no cracking, chipping or damage of any kind to either the limestone or granite panels used. But don’t take our word for it! You can actually see footage of these tests under on our website under product testing.
Full-Scale, Multi-Story Fire Evaluation
One of the biggest elements that a building could potentially have to battle is fire. The most elaborate of the many tests that our stone panel product for fire involved a full-scale, multi-story fire evaluation where a two-story structure was clad with our StoneLite® product. The structure had a window on the first floor with almost 1300 pounds of dry wood nearby, which was set aflame with kerosene.
The temperature inside the building reached 2000 degrees Fahrenheit while the outside faced temperatures over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the aluminum honeycomb that is the technology behind our stone products hit a temperature of 715 degrees Fahrenheit. While the stone material of our panels saw some cracking and charring, the aluminum honeycomb that reinforces it allowed the entire assembly to resist vertical spreading of the fire and helped the entire stone panel system to meet all required criteria.
If dimensional stone had been put through the same testing, it would have seen some of the same cracking and charring that the stone of our StoneLite® saw. But unlike our stone products, dimensional stone doesn’t have the resilient aluminum honeycomb to combat fire.
Fire Exposure, Flame Spread and Toxicity
In addition to the full-scale test discussed above, our stone products have also been subjected to standard tests for surface burning characteristics. Under this testing, StoneLite® garnered:
- A flame spread index of five – The NFPA and ICC (International Code Council) require a score of 25 or less.
- A “smoke developed” score of five – A score has to be 450 or less to be considered Class One or Class A.
- A “fuel contributed” score of zero – Our stone panel product contributed nothing as far as fanning the flames from the test.
Also of note, our product performed well in toxicity tests conducted in accordance with The University of Pittsburgh. These tests concluded that our panels are no more dangerous to breathe around during a fire than Douglas Fir wood.
As with the examples used in the first part of this two-part blog, the examples in this second part are only a few of several tests our stone panel products have undergone. Please see additional testing and code acceptance on our website under the product testing tab or contact us at 800.328.6275.