Thomas Fabian, Underwriters Laboratories, described different testing methods and possible correlations between results, noting the need for new testing methods to enable to rapidly fire test new materials under development and to ensure fire safety of new materials and new applications, for example in building and construction.
He noted the difficulties of producing meaningful data on smoke emissions from testing, because smoke is mostly produced at the temperature of polymer degradation so emissions will depend on to what extent the material is near this temperature in the test. He also noted that when materials flow away from the heat source in testing this can result in a test pass despite a fire risk. Also, fire performance can deteriorate with ageing. He notes that today HFFR cables are available (non halogenated polymer, PIN FRs) which are “Plenum Rated by the Steiner Tunnel Test, that is the most demanding flame spread resistance rating.