Fire Performance of Exterior Building Materials


This modified E108 wall test determines the ability of a wall system to resist the spread of flames over or through the wall.


Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), a leader in the field of fire technology for more than 40 years, offers the following test capabilities for the building industry:

  • ASTM E108 External Fire Testing of Roof Assemblies

    Measures the spread of flame and the effects from a burning brand, intermittent flame, and flying brand of roofing materials. The test establishes the external fire resistance classification (A, B, or C) of a roofing assembly over combustible and/or non-combustible substrates.

  • Modified ASTM E108

    Determines the ability of a wall system to resist spread of flame over or through the wall. The test consists of exposing vertically mounted wall systems to a gas flame source. Two separate walls are tested. One wall is tested as is or "undamaged." A second wall is tested with a portion of the cladding removed to simulate a "damaged" wall.

  • Radiant Panel Wall Ignition Test

    Determines the ability of combustible wall systems to resist ignition and flaming of a wall surface. The test is used to classify the wall for building code minimum separation distance of adjacent structures based on the maximum tolerable energy level of radiation heat energy.


The radiant panel measures the ability of combustible wall systems to resist ignition and flaming of a wall surface.



The ASTM E108 roof test establishes the external fire resistance classification of a roofing assembly.


These SwRI test facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art measurement and computer data processing systems that provide fully accredited code compliance reporting necessary for today's competitive markets.

Recognitions/Accreditations

The SwRI Department of Fire Technology is accredited by the International Accreditation Service, Inc. (IAS), which encompasses the three major model building code jurisdictions in the United States, as a qualified testing laboratory and a third-party quality assurance and inspection agency in accordance with IAS Report Nos. TL-214 and AA-665, respectively. The Department has been designated a "Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL)" by OSHA and has been accredited in all major state and local jurisdictions throughout the U.S., including the city of Los Angeles, Miami-Dade County, and the city of New York. The Department has been accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide testing and follow-up programs in support of Type Approval per the IMO FTP Code. Internationally, the Department is recognized by The Standards Council of Canada, Lloyd's Register of Shipping, Det Norske Veritas (DNV), and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).


The SwRI Department of Fire Technology is one of the world's largest organizations devoted to fire research and testing.



This flyer was originally published in January 1997. For more information about fire performance of exterior building materials, contact Nicholas Middleton, Fire Technology Department, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510, Phone (210) 522-2406, Fax (210) 522-3377.

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