Categories of fire resistance for materials

22/12/2020

Fire resistance of materials is one of the standards that must be taken into account for optimal fire safety.
In fact, it’s a compulsory factor, especially for professionals who want a projection screen for use in premises such as cinemas (movie theaters), educational establishments, museums, galleries and so on. In France, for example, all ERPs (establishments open to the public) have been required since the 1970s to comply with fire regulations, the exact form of which depends on the number and type of visitors, and the size and function of the premises concerned.

What does this mean in practice?

The fire resistance rating for a material (such as paper, plastic or leather) describes its combustibility and flammability. These are the two criteria taken are taken into account when rating a material.
Specifically, the rating indicates how likely the material is to catch fire, and the extent to which it could contribute to the start and spread of a fire.
The rating is set after standardised tests at an approved centre, in which materials are exposed to high temperatures (using a calorimeter or ‘epiradiator’) so as to determine their reactions in specified circumstances.
During the test, the material’s inflammability is measured, along with the height of any flames, the material’s thermofusibility (i.e. its tendency to shed burning droplets) and the duration of burning.

The French « M » rating

In France, there are two rating systems that operate side by side. There is the French « M » rating, and the European classification (Euroclasses).

The M rating applies only to furnishing materials. Other materials are rated under the Euroclasses and European standard EN 13-501-1.

Within the M rating, under French standard NF P92-507, there are six categories which define a material’s reaction to fire. These range from M0 for materials which are not combustible to M5 for the most inflammable.

Materials are rated by laboratories approved by the Ministry of the Interior (CSTB, LNE, etc).

CombustibilityFlammability
M0Non-combustible
M1CombustibleNon-flammable
M2CombustibleFlame resistant
M3CombustibleFlammable
M4CombustibleHighly flammable
M5CombustibleExtremely flammable

A material will be rated M0 if it meets the following conditions:

  • Effectively non-flammable when subjected to the radiated heat test, or meets conditions for an M1 rating with the electric burner;
  • Gross heating value equal to or less than 2.5 MJ/kg (600 Kcal/kg)

There is another category known as « NC », but that refers to products which have not been tested or which fall outside the above categories.

This rating sits alongside the European classification which measures not only flammability but also the amount of heat produced, the opacity of the smoke, and the tendency of the material to produce burning droplets.

ORAY’S pictograms

The ORAY website and the catalogue give the fire resistance rating for each screen under the French system.
This rating is determined by the particular surface that is used for projection.

On the product pages, you will find this type of pictogram or icon to indicate the product’s fire rating:

Pictogrammes Oray pour le classement à la réaction au feu des écrans de projection-min

The Pro ranges are generally manufactured with a matt white fabric classified M1 / non flammable.
The choice of fabric is a crucial factor in the categorisation of our screens for this rating.

Below you will find ORAY projection screens listed according to their availability with an M1 rating.

ScreensAvailable in M1
Electric modelsOrion Pro
Orion in-ceiling PRO
Squar’pro
GFO
No Limit
Polichinelle
Manual modelsSuper Gear Pro
Oray 2000 Pro
TripodStyle
Byron 2
Fixed frame modelsCinevision I
Cinevision II
Special Video
Cadre HC

If you would like information about our M2-rated screens, get in touch!

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