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Cone Calorimeter Analysis of UL-94 V-Rated Plastics.

pdf icon Cone Calorimeter Analysis of UL-94 V-Rated Plastics. (1109 K)
Morgan, A. B.; Bundy, M.

Fire and Materials, Vol. 31, No. 4, 257-283, June/July 2007.


plastics; cone calorimeters; UL 94; flame retardants; flammability; thermoplastics; heat release rate; tests; heat flux; statistical analysis; fire behavior


Cone calorimeter analysis was conducted on 18 thermoplastics with different UL-94 vertical burn test (V) ratings. Ratings varied from V-0 to no rating (NR), and the types of thermoplastics included were polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), PC/ABS blends, high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), polypropylene (PP), and poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC). Our analysis of the cone calorimeter data found that there were correlations between UL-94V rating and some cone calorimeter measurements (peak heat release rate (HRR) average and HRR at 60 s) and no relationship for other measurements (time to ignition and total heat release). However, no precise correlation was found due to significant differences in flame retardant mechanism and polymer fuel energy values. In this paper, we seek to explain further why a broad quantitative relationship between UL-94V and cone calorimeter remains elusive, and also to show how the cone calorimeter can be used to understand why a material passes or fails a particular UL-94V rating.