Bench-Scale Predictions of Mattress and Upholstered Chair Fires: Similarities and Differences.
Bench-Scale Predictions of Mattress and Upholstered
Chair Fires: Similarities and Differences.
NISTIR 5152; 22 p. March 1993.
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Fire
and Flammability of Furnishings and Contents of
Buildings. ASTM STP 1233. Sponsored by ASTM Committee
E5 on Fire Standards and Its Subcommittee E05.32 on
Research. December 7, 1992, Miami, FL, ASTM,
Philadelphia, PA, Fowell, A. J., Editor(s), 50-62 pp,
Sponsor:National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC
Available from: National Technical Information Service
ON BOOK SHELF: TH1091.S1233 1994
Order number: PB93-186005
mattresses; upholstered furniture; fire hazard; fire
tests; heat release rate; scaling; fire spread; prisons
The life safety hazard issues associated with flaming
fires of mattress and upholstered furniture are
explored. It is shown that full-scale heat release rate
(HRR) is the dominant variable which needs to be
controlled. This can be determined directly by
full-scale measurement. In many cases, full-scale tests
are not convenient to conduct. It is, thus, desirable
that bench-scale procedures be available which can be
used to predict some of the important features of the
full-scale test. Such procedures have been developed at
the National Institute of Standards and Technology for
upholstered furniture during several prior studies. In
the present work, differences between the behavior of
mattresses and of upholstered furniture are explored.
Mattresses and upholstered chairs are soft goods which
are constructed in a somewhat similar way: both use
padding foams or battings, covered by upholstery fabric.
There are differences in construction, however.
Mattresses are flat, whereas upholstered chairs normally
have seats, backs, and sidearms. Also, an upholstered
chair is normally constructed on a wood frame, whereas a
mattress has no structural components, or else has steel
innersprings. The quantitative knowledge of mattress
behavior is still not as advanced as that for
upholstered furniture. Nonetheless, based on a recent
set of tests, the behavior of mattress fires can
initially be quantified. Especially, data are now
available to predict whether or not a particular
mattress construction will lead to a propagating fire.
Similarly as for upholstered furniture, such a limit
value can be used to determine whether certain
regulatory pass/fail criteria are met. The relationship
obtained is incomplete, however, because the known roles
of ignition source power level (i.e., kilowatts output)
and geometrical configuration are not yet quantified.
Also, there is not yet a detailed explanation for
differences between the observed relationships for
mattresses and for upholstered chairs. Thus, future work
will need to be done to address and further quantify