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Fire Tests and Flooring Materials.

pdf icon Fire Tests and Flooring Materials. (696 K)
Lawson, J. R.

Interscience Communications Limited. Fire and Materials. International Conference, 2nd. September 23-24, 1993, Arlington, VA, 253-262 pp, 1993.


fire tests; flooring radiant panel test; hazard assessment; radiant flux profile


It was recognized during the early part of this century that flooring materials can be a critical player in fire growth and propagation. This national concern lead to regulations being written which quantified the behavior of flooring materials in fire tests. The first attempts to regulate flooring materials used the existing Stiener Tunnel, a test for flame spread developed at Underwriter's Laboratory, and the Pill Test was developed to identify easily ignited flooring materials. The Pill Test continues to be used because it is simple and provides acceptable ignitability information. Although used initially, the Stiener Tunnel did not provide the type of fire test data necessary for evaluating flooring materials in part because the tunnel was originally designed for testing ceiling and wall products. It was subsequently replaced by the Flooring Radiant Panel Test. In this paper, test method precision for the Flooring Radiant Panel Test is reviewed from the early days of test development to the present. It is shown that precision and test performance has improved over the years and that the test procedure can be used to quantify the flame propagation characteristic of critical radiant flux over a specified range. The performance of flooring products is discussed as it relates to the influence of aging and use. The Flooring Radiant Panel Test procedure and others are discussed as tools for input to computer models on fire growth and hazard analysis of flooring materials. The need for further development of the Flooring Radiant Panel Test is disucssed.