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Behavior of Mock-Ups in the California Technical Bulletin 133 Test Protocol: Fabric and Barrier Effects.



Thomas J. Ohlemiller, John R. Shields


Twenty-seven material combinations (seven fabrics, four barriers and two polyurethane foams) were tested in four cushion mock-up form in accord with California Technial Bulletin 133 using a furniture calorimeter. These same material combinations were also tested in triplicate, mainly at 35 kW/m2, in the Cone Calorimeter. Both mock-up and Cone sample behavior were recorded on video to facilitate behavioral comparisons of the samples; distinct differences were noted for thermoplastic fabrics. Heat fluxes were also measured on both scales; the effective "external" flux in full-scale can exceed 50 kW/m2. The mock-up behavior always comprised at least a heat release peak during the 80 second gas burner exposure; it often included a later and larger peak as well. The first peak could not be adequately predicted by average heat release data from the Cone. A dimensional analysis suggested a possible dependence on four additional parameters, three of which can be obtained from the Cone. A statistical fit of the available data to these more complex types of correlations appears to work best for charring fabrics; it helps improve the correlation for all types of fabrics but two material combinations were outliers. The second heat release peak in the mock-up tests is attributable to a "basal melt fire" mechanism; efforts to correlate this behavior with Cone results have been limited thus far and show little success.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 5653
Report Number


fabrics, fire barriers, cone calorimeters, furniture, furniture calorimeters, heat release rate, thermoplastic fabrics


Ohlemiller, T. and Shields, J. (1995), Behavior of Mock-Ups in the California Technical Bulletin 133 Test Protocol: Fabric and Barrier Effects., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created May 1, 1995, Updated November 10, 2018