Seven construction polymers were tested for fire performance and smoke, showing considerably different toxic emissions. Cone calorimeter, thermogravimetric analysis and FTIR (Fourrier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) were used to analyse fire performance (flashover risk, heat release) and smoke toxicity (FED Fractional Effective Dose). The polymers tested were High Density Expanded Polystyrene HDEPS, Low Density Expanded Polystyrene LDEPS, Ethylene Vinyl Acetate EVA, Low-Density Polyurethane LDPU, High-Density Polyurethane HDPU, Polyethylene PE, Extruded Polystyrene XPS. Of these, HDPU showed the highest risk of flashover, EVA the highest total heat release and LDPU the highest smoke toxicity, whereas EVA showed the lowest smoke toxicity. These seven widely-used building material polymers showed significant differences in fire performance and smoke toxicity (seven to twelve fold differences between the best and worst polymers for each parameter). Polymer compounds with flame retardants were not studied.
“Thermal Hazard and Smoke Toxicity Assessment of Building Polymers Incorporating TGA and FTIR—Integrated Cone Calorimeter Arrangement”, P. Doley et al., Fire 2022, 5, 139. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5050139