Fire testing Australian Hemp Masonry Company building materials

1.This fire test was conducted in August 2019 by Professor Marton Marosszeky, Director at BCRC, Sydney, NSW.  Built from Australian Hemp Masonry Company’s products, a previously constructed hempcrete wall was rendered with 10mm of AHMC Hemp-lime Render. A week later a 600mm high pile of bush timber was piled up and ignited at the base of the wall. The test was conducted to simulate an ember attack situation during bushfires where there is potential for a buildup of fuel at the base of walls.

The fire was maintained for 1 hour and fully documented. No damage was observed in the 200mm thick, 10mm rendered hempcrete wall exposed to a 600mm high flame from a fire burning right against the wall for a period of 60 minutes.”

Compliant with global fire standards

Providing all other aspects of the treatment of any building built in a bushfire prone area building are designed and detailed to comply with the accepted recommendations in relation to detailing and the use of non-combustible materials as set out in AS 3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas and a certified building process, 200-300mm hemp masonry, (dependant on required R and BAL ratings) otherwise known as hempcrete walls, can perform satisfactorily for use in bush fire prone areas to BAL 40 when rendered with 10mm lime render. In full scale laboratory fire testing to 1000oC, the temperature 60mm below the surface of the exposed face did not rise above 100oC, the temperature of boiling water, and far below the ignition temperature of pine which is over 400oC.In a test to stimulate a BAL 40 exposure, a 200mm wall with 10mm render was exposed to a 600mm high flame from timber stacked against the wall for over an hour, no damage was observed.

2. Australian Hemp Masonry Block exposed to fire from gas flame for one hour 

An unrendered 50mm x 50mm x 100mm block of Australian Hemp Masonry’s walling material was continuously and directly exposed to a gas flame for 1 hour. While there was minimal charring to the surface of the block to the depth of 5-6mm after one hour, there was no evidence of flame, or of smoke emanating from the block and no ignition took place.