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Flammability Tests of Full-Scale Mattresses: Gas Burners Versus Burning Bedclothes.


pdf icon Flammability Tests of Full-Scale Mattresses: Gas Burners Versus Burning Bedclothes. (1847 K)
Ohlemiller, T. J.

NISTIR 7006; 27 p. July 2003.
Order number: PB2003-106498

Keywords:

mattresses; flammability tests; gas burners; combustion; beds (furniture); bedding; heat release rate; test methods

Abstract:

Six mattress and foundation designs were subjected to two modes of ignition: the NIST dual gas burners and burning bedclothes. All of the designs represent substantial reductions in flammability compared to current residential designs but they nevertheless covered a wide range of performance, as measured by peak heat release rate and time to that peak. Variability of the fire behavior of some designs (in triplicate gas burner tests) made comparisons with the burning bedclothes results more difficult, however, a reasonable correlation was found between the two methods when worst case behavior was compared. Relatively late developing hazards of some otherwise well performing mattress designs would not be observed if the 1 h gas burner test duration were shortened, a degree-of-safety-improvement decision for regulatory authorities. Persistent crevice flames were a clear contributor to the failures seen in some of the tests (both with gas burners and bedclothes). Data are now available on crevice flame duration and heat flux so as to permit simulation of this exposure as part of the proposed CPSC bench-scale screening protocol.