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Commodity Classification for Insulated Wall Panel Manufacture

Question asked by dapke on Aug 31, 2018
Latest reply on Aug 31, 2018 by cdafd

Good afternoon all,


I am currently in the study phase of a sprinkler system evaluation for an old factory. By and large the sprinkler protection has not been upgraded to match the processes, and I've identified almost all of the changes that need to be performed.  However, one item has me stumped: the storage of in-process and completed Insulated Wall Panels / Panel systems.


There are a variety of panels being manufactured, but the two primary types both involve a type of rigid foam encased on either side with a metal or plywood sheathing. I can identify the protection for the cladding, but the foam is giving me pause.


The first type of foam is an expanded polystyrene, and the second is a Polyisocyanurate base.  Both panels state they are tested to FM 4880, and meet the requirements for Class 1 combustible (flame spread <25, with a smoke develop index of <450). However this standard does a corner test with depths not greater than a single sheeting panel; there are no standards or tests I could find that actually review this stuff for piled storage (both 8 -12 ft and 12 - 16 ft).


Polystyrene shows up in NFPA 13 as a Group A Expanded - but no guidance on this stuff (supposedly a Class 1 material) vs other Polystyrene products like foam cups.  And Polyisocyanurate doesn't appear at all in NFPA 13.


Does anyone have any insight on how you would classify these products for sprinkler protection? I don't want to just dump water on it without justification, as it will require a massive sprinkler system upgrade for the owner.