Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Effect of Ignition Conditions on Upward Flame Spread on a Composite Material in a Corner Configuration



Thomas J. Ohlemiller, Thomas G. Cleary, John R. Shields


This paper focuses on the issue of fire growth on composite materials beyond the region immediately subjected to an ignition source. Suppression of this is one of the key issues in realizing the safe usage of composite structural materials. A vinyl ester glass composite was tested in the form of a 90 deg corner configuration with an inert ceiling segment 2.44 m above the top of the fire source. The igniter was a propane burner, either 23 or 38 cm in width with power output varied from 30 to 150 kW. Upward flame spread rate and heat release rate were measured mainly for a brominated vinyl ester resin but limited results were also obtained for a non flame retarded vinyl ester and a similar composite coated with an intumescent paint. Rapid fire growth beyond the igniter region was seen for the largest igniter power case; the intumescent coating successfully prevented fire growth for this case.
Fire Safety Journal
No. 4


composite materials, ignition, flame spread, fire growth, ignition source, flame spread rate, heat release rate, structures, construction materials, intumescent coatings


Ohlemiller, T. , Cleary, T. and Shields, J. (1998), Effect of Ignition Conditions on Upward Flame Spread on a Composite Material in a Corner Configuration, Fire Safety Journal, [online], (Accessed July 21, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created November 1, 1998, Updated February 19, 2017