UL790 Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Roof Coverings Date: ​ February 07, 2023

UL790 is a testing standard developed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for evaluating the fire resistance of roof coverings. The standard involves subjecting roof coverings to simulated fire conditions and measuring their ability to resist ignition, flame spread, and the ability to prevent the spread of fire to the underlying structure.


Applicable Products:

UL790 applies to a wide range of roof covering products, including asphalt shingles, metal roof panels, tile roofing systems, built-up roofing systems, modified bitumen roofing, and other types of roofing materials.


Regulatory Requirements:

The UL790 standard is widely recognized and accepted as a leading standard for testing the fire resistance of roofing materials in many countries. Building codes and regulations in some jurisdictions may reference or require compliance with UL790 or similar standards for the use of roofing materials in construction.

In these cases, compliance with UL790 may be necessary to obtain permits and approvals for construction projects. It is important to consult with local building authorities and regulatory agencies to determine the specific requirements for roofing materials in a given jurisdiction.


Test Methods:

UL790 standard uses the Steiner Tunnel test method to evaluate the fire performance of roofing materials. This test involves exposing the roofing material to a controlled flame for a specified period of time, while measuring flame penetration and the spread of fire across the material.


Test Result Rating:

The test evaluates the ability of the material to resist fire, and the resulting fire classification determines the material's ability to withstand fire. The fire classifications and their corresponding requirements are:

Class A: The material must withstand a flame spread of 0-6 feet, and not allow the development of burning droplets or debris.

Class B: The material must withstand a flame spread of 6-8 feet, and not allow the development of burning droplets or debris.

Class C: The material must withstand a flame spread of 8-13 feet, and not allow the development of burning droplets or debris.


The UL790 standard also specifies other requirements related to the installation and use of roofing materials, including provisions for roof assemblies and construction details, to ensure that the materials are properly installed and used in a manner that maximizes their fire resistance.


The ICTT fire test laboratory has the IAS internationally recognized qualification of UL790 standard, has a professional technical team, complete equipment and instruments, and is dedicated to providing you with efficient fire and flame retardant test services for building materials.

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