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Fire-Hazard and Fire-Risk Assessment of Fire-Retardant Polymers.


pdf icon Fire-Hazard and Fire-Risk Assessment of Fire-Retardant Polymers. (2560 K)
Hall, J. R., Jr.; Bukowski, R. W.

Fire Retardancy of Polymeric Materials. Chapter 14, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY, Grand, A. F.; Wilkie, C. A., Editor(s), 533-566 p., 2000.

Keywords:

fire retardants; flame retardants; polymers; fire hazard; fire risk assessment; fire risk; hazard analysis; scenarios; test methods; costs; uncertainty; sensitivity analysis

Abstract:

The previous chapters have all, in one way or another, addressed the "hard science" aspects of fire-retardant polymers. Physics and chemistry defined the relevant science, which provided the base for engineering the product design or testing. But what is the value of all that work, expressed in terms nonscientists can understand? To answer that question, one needs to use fire-hazard or fire-risk assessment. Imagine all the fires that could occur as a universe of possibilities. Every fire has a probability of occurrence and an expected degree of loss, or severity, if it occurs. Reduce the probability--make the product harder to ignite--and the danger from unwanted fire is reduced. Reduce the expected severity--force the burning product to spread flame less rapidly or to burn less intensely, for example--and the danger from unwanted fire is reduced. Fire-hazard assessment and fire-risk assessment are two analytical methods of quantifying the implications for fire danger of product choices.