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Burning Behavior of Selected Automotive Parts From a Sports Coupe.



Thomas J. Ohlemiller, John R. Shields


Selected functional parts from a sports coupe were subjected to a gas: flame ignition source and burned in a manner that allowed measurement of the resulting total heat release rate and heat fluxes to the surroundings. This is the second part of a study undertaken to: (1) assess possible means for determining the flammability characteristics of automotive components, (2) obtain data on the range of flammability behavior exhibited by such components and the physical processes underlying that behavior, and (3) obtain insights into the fire behavior seen in related full-scale vehicle fire tests. Most of the vehicle components examined in this study were mounted in isolation on a vehicle buck (a stripped, partial section of the original sports coupe). This led, in some cases, such as with a rear interior trim panel, to a strong influence of the vehicle structure on the behavior seen; it also led to other interactions such as the penetration of the windshield by a front fender fire. Other parts exhibited a wide variety of behaviors influenced not only by their constituent polymer resins but also by their shapes, sizes and internal structures.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6313
Report Number


automobiles, combustion, ignition source, heat release rate, heat flux, flammability, fire tests, cone calorimeters


Ohlemiller, T. and Shields, J. (2001), Burning Behavior of Selected Automotive Parts From a Sports Coupe., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created December 1, 2001, Updated November 10, 2018