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Flammability Characterization of Foam Plastics.

pdf icon Flammability Characterization of Foam Plastics. (1921 K)
Cleary, T. G.; Quintiere, J. G.

NISTIR 4664; 142 p. October 1991.


Society of Plastics Industries, Inc., Washington, DC
Order number: PB92-123033


flammability; rigid foams; cellular plastics; combustibility; fire growth; fire hazards assessment; fire spread; flammability testing; heat release rate; low density foams; tunnel tests; lateral ignition


The results of a study to identify an alternative test protocol to the Steiner Tunnel Test as a measure of flammability for foamed plastic are presented. New fire test apparatuses namely the Cone Calorimeter and Lateral Ignition and Flame Spread apparatus were used to more completely characterize foamed plastic flammability. Key flammability properties obtained from these apparatuses describe ignitability, flame spread rate, rate of heat release and smoke obscuration. An extensive data set of these flammability properties for 10 selected foamed plastics was generated. The tested materials included melting foams (polystyrene foams) and charring foams (polyurethanes, polyisocyanurate and phenolic foams). The effects of melting and dripping was limited by testing the materials in the horizontal orientation. In addition, an integrated approach to material flammability characterization is presented that uses these parameters to predict fire growth potential.