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NIST Flammability Reduction Group Commissioned a Second Cone Calorimeter for Use in its Cone Calorimetry Lab

Cone Calorimeter

The NIST Flammability Reduction group recently commissioned a second cone calorimeter for use in its cone calorimetry lab.

Originally developed in 1982 by the Fire Research Division at NIST, the cone calorimeter is one of the most commonly used fire testing tools for quantitative assessments of material flammability. The cone calorimeter can be used to determine the heat release rate and smoke production of bench-scale samples of combustible solids in response to well-characterized heating, typical of fire-like environments.

John R. Shields (senior laboratory technician) and Dr. Laura Dubrulle (post-doctoral guest researcher) rebuilt and recalibrated the instrument over the last several months and successfully completed their first experiment on the apparatus this week. This cone calorimeter was originally donated to the NIST Fire Research Division by the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

The availability of this cone calorimeter, in addition to the original experimental cone, will support ongoing experiments conducted as part of the Reduced Flammability of Residential Upholstered Furniture Project and assessment of flammability reduction technologies for Improving Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Community Fire Protection.

More information about the basic operating principles and applications of the cone calorimeter is available here:

Released April 17, 2018, Updated May 24, 2018