Dr. Mauro Zammarano has been selected to deliver a keynote presentation at this year’s European Meeting on Fire Retardant Polymeric Materials (FRPM19). Dr. Zammarano’s talk is titled, “Reduced-scale Test to Assess the Effect of Fire Barriers on The Combustion Behavior of Core Flammable Materials: An Upholstery-Material Composites Case Study.”
This presentation will focus on a recently developed reduced-scale test (the ‘Cube Test’) that aims to capture the effects of fire barriers on the combustion behavior of composites in which the core material is the primary fuel load. Fire barriers (e.g., barrier fabrics) can be used to reduce the flammability of residential upholstered furniture (RUF). Specifically, they can reduce fire size (heat release rate, HRR) and delay fire growth (i.e., increase time to peak HRR). In the United States, RUF Fires are the single largest cause of civilian deaths in home fires (>600 deaths and >1,100 injuries per year)[1}
Ongoing research is designed to quantify how the behavior of better performing upholstery materials in the reduced-scale Cube Test is related to the performance of the same upholstery materials when tested at the full-scale as an actual RUF item. Preliminary results have demonstrated a strong correlation between key metrics of flammability behavior in the Cube Test and that of mockup furniture in full-scale fire experiments.
 J.R. Hall Jr, Estimating Fires When a Product is the Primary Fuel But Not the First Fuel, With an Application to Upholstered Furniture., NFPA, 2014.