NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Effect of Surface Coatings on Fire Growth Over Composite Materials in a Corner Configuration.


pdf icon Effect of Surface Coatings on Fire Growth Over Composite Materials in a Corner Configuration. (1504 K)
Ohlemiller, T. J.; Shields, J. R.

Fire Safety Journal, Vol. 32, 173-193, 1999.

Keywords:

composite materials; fire growth; surface coatings

Abstract:

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 on 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 viny1 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 applicatiorr, were notably less effective at slowing heat penetration.