At Supawood, our focus on testing aims at providing the client with complete assurance that what they specify meets their aesthetic and functional requirements yet is also compliant.
The compliance standards that Supawood can offer with our products extend from a focus on fire testing and compliance through acoustic, seismic and Greenstar compliance to even wind loading and engineering compliance.
Because legal authorities will often pursue the party that specified the product involved in some failure of a building, at SUPAWOOD, we tirelessly work to improve and perfect our testing standards. This ensures our foremost goal, to provide our client with absolute assurance that the products and systems involved in their project are tested and certified.
Fire testing has been a significant focus since recently updated fire compliance regulations brought in such demanding testing regimes. It has not just been a matter of testing a few different products. Proof is needed that every product combination, including those that have not yet been designed – are compliant.
At Supawood, we have needed to consider the panel types, the fixing systems and every other item contributing to the system that can make a difference to the system's overall compliance.
The ISO 9705 full room burn test measures 3.6 x 2.4 x 2.4 metres and is currently the most extensive fire test in the world. Because these cost around $20,000 per test, SUPAWOOD has gained permission from local councils to create their own firebox for testing, allowing us to get an idea of the behaviour of the product in the fire, so we can then modify the products if required, before sending the materials away for a full room burn test.
AS 5113 Facade test. Credit: Warrington Fire
AS 1530.1 Non-combustibility test. Credit: Warrington Fire
No acoustic testing has been done in house, but we have had testing completed off-site in large quantities, with a laboratory acoustic testing room size of 130 cubic metres. For each acoustic material to be tested, 10m2 must be made up and shipped away for installation & testing.
Again, only around three acoustic testing laboratories are available in Australia, so the need to ship materials and arrange installation off-site can be a hassle.
Evaluations have also been done on the acoustic products so that even the combinations that haven't been tested in real life can be calculated accurately based on the results from previous tests.
This extensive process often puts companies off completing testing to the legal standards, so they tend to cut corners and take shortcuts to save money and time on an aspect of manufacturing in the industry that can seem overkill.
Due to the amount of ignorance in the industry around the requirements of building compliance, companies can have testing that is fake or completed using the wrong test and get through that way; however, we maintain ethical standards – in line with our own company values - to ensure we can boast full compliance.
The effects of fires and earthquakes in large commercial buildings worldwide and the repercussions these have for responsible parties of faulty products within them prove the worth of thorough testing. At Supawood, we understand these risks for both ourselves and the client, and to avoid them, remain extremely careful and cautious with the testing of our materials.
View the video and article below, detailing the effects of the 1989 earthquake in Newcastle, and their destructive results.
As an example of the tireless effort that goes into our testing at Supawood, parts of our engineering team can spend up to a full day going through testing detail to develop the best screw type for a given fixing that will provide the most strength.
When looking at the product specification, details like screws can be overlooked as minor details. However, in some cases, these details are the pieces that give the client final peace of mind that the product and all fixings have been considered to withstand various weather conditions without failing.
More minor tests are completed, such as GreenStar testing. An example is sending away MDF or substrate samples for formaldehyde testing, which will return an E rating for each product. This rating will indicate how much formaldehyde is being lost to the environment over a period. Supawood provides this knowledge to the client on specifying, giving different options of panel substrate to meet their specific project GreenStar needs.
If you require any further information regarding testing, feel free to reach out – we love to hear your questions! We also have FREE training sessions you can book to further extend your knowledge about compliance &, specifically, fire regulations.
Give us a call today to discuss products, capabilities & to answer your questions!
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