Richard Lyon, US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), presented work underway by an FAA/industry working group to use milligrams of sample in a microscale combustion calorimeter to compare the fire performance of components (e.g., adhesives, films, potting compounds, fibers, etc.) used in aircraft cabin materials. A new combustion parameter was derived for this purpose that combines ignition and burning characteristics, called the Fire Growth Capacity/FGC, having units of J/g-K. The FGC is a reasonably good predictor of pass/fail fire and flame test results of a single component (polymer) at bench-scale, but cannot be expected to predict fire test results of multi-component constructions and laminates. However, because of its accuracy, repeatability and specificity, the milligram-scale FGC parameter may prove useful for comparing components of constructions, quality control of incoming materials, or product surveillance.
Work on fire modelling was presented by Joshua Swann, University of Maryland, USA (characterisation of pyrolysis and combustion of polycarbonate), by Louise Speitel, US Federal Aviation Authority (effect of fuel to oxygen ratio and temperature on polymer combustion products) and by Yan Ding, University of Maryland, USA (flammability model for polymers containing the PIN FRs: MPP and DEPAL).