NFPA 90A / Fire Code Compliance
NFPA 90A is a standard for the installation, operation, and maintenance of commercial and industrial HVAC systems intended to protect life and property from fire, smoke, and gases resulting from fire. NFPA 90A or equivalent standards and model codes (such as the International Mechanical Code and the Uniform Mechanical Code) are the basis for all local fire codes.
NFPA 90A states that supplementary materials added to the interior of mechanical air handling units must meet certain requirements when tested at the actual applied thickness in accordance with NFPA 255 or the equivalent ASTM E84. These requirements are listed in the blue box to the left.
The AQUIS System exceeds the requirements of NFPA 90A by demonstrating a flame spread index of 15 without progressive combustion, and a smoke developed index of 30 when tested at actual application thicknesses at a certified testing laboratory. However, other commercially available polymeric coatings (such as the 2-Part Epoxies and 2-Part Polyurethane coatings shown in the videos below) fall far short of meeting the very demanding requirements of NFPA 90A. It is also worth noting that some coating systems manufacturers do not test their coatings at the recommended field applied thickness required by NFPA 90A, but instead at a far lesser thickness which gives the false impression that their products meet the NFPA 90A requirement.
Please note that the NFPA 90A requirement is far more stringent than the Class-A fire rating as defined by NFPA. Both NFPA 90A and NFPA Class-A require a maximum flame spread index of 25, but NFPA Class-A requires a maximum smoke developed index of 450, which is 9 times less stringent than NFPA 90A.
Below are three (3) fire test videos comparing the AQUIS System against three (3) different polymeric coatings that are currently marketed for use in air handling units: