Posted on 02/12/2019 in Furniture & Textiles 2019
NIST tests of furniture fire barriers published

Cone calorimeter tests carried out by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology into effectiveness of barrier fabrics in furniture are now published. The published paper does not include full scale tests, presented at FRPM and summarised in pinfa Newsletter n°105. The paper notes that fires identified as involving residential upholstered furniture lead to over 600 deaths per year in the USA, that is a quarter of home fire deaths. In this study, the effectiveness of 16 commercially available furniture fire barrier fabrics was assessed on polyurethane foam. Barrier performance was compared to flammability, gas permeability, thermal protection and physical integrity. Conclusions are that FR chemicals “can be effective in quenching and extinguishing the flames” and that an effective barrier shell is also important. The five most effective barriers in reducing peak heat release rate (PHRR2) either contained FRs or included glass fibres, showing that both FRs or structural barriers can be very effective.

“Assessing fire-blocking effectiveness of barrier fabrics in the cone calorimeter”, S. Nazare et al., J. Fire Sciences 2019, Vol. 37(4-6) 340–376

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