Effect of Surface Coatings on Fire Growth Over Composite Materials.
Effect of Surface Coatings on Fire Growth Over Composite
Ohlemiller, T. J.; Shields, J. R.
NISTIR 5940; 36 p. December 1996.
Available from: National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB97-129605
composite materials; fire growth; corners; fire
resistance; flame spread; flammability; intumescent
Structural composites are vulnerable to fire in two
respects: 1) their resin content may ignite and enable
the spread of flames over the surface of the structure;
2) the resin may degrade from the heat of a localized
fire exposure thus weakening the composite structure.
The present study focuses mainly in the first issue, in
particular, on the ability of various commercial
coatings to prevent flame spread. The second issue is
examined briefly by applying thermocouples to the back
surface of test specimens. Four commercial coatings
have been tested over an unretarded vinyl ester/glass
composite. In addition an uncoated phenolic/glass
composite and a polyester/glass composite coated with a
fire retarded resin were tested. In all cases the
configuration was a 3.3 m high corner with a 53 cm
square propane gas burner at its base, operated at 250
kW as the fire exposure. The results show that, with
the proper choice of coating and coating thickness, fire
growth can be suppressed quite effectively. Two of the
coatings applied at a substantial thickness, were
reasonably effective at slowing the penetration of heat
to the back of the composite panels. The other
coatings, much thinner in application, were notably less
effective at slowing heat penetration.