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Environmental Cycling of Cellulosic Thermal Insulation and Its Influence on Fire Performance.



James R. Lawson


A study was conducted on climatological data for eleven cities located throughout the United States. Findings from this environmental study were used to develop conditioning cycles for a research project on the influence of environments on the fire performance of loose-fill cellulosic thermal insulation. Six cellulosic insulation materials containing 25 percent by weight of fire retardant chemical add-on of different compositions were specially manufactured for this study. These materials were tested to establish a baseline. After the materials were exposed to the various environmental cycles, they were tested for fire performance. Results from these tests show that environmental exposure can have a significant effect on the fire performance of cellulosic insulation materials and indicates that long term fire protection provided by fire retardant compounds may be limited.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


climate, cellulose, environments, fire retardants, thermal insulation


Lawson, J. (1984), Environmental Cycling of Cellulosic Thermal Insulation and Its Influence on Fire Performance., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created August 1, 1984, Updated February 19, 2017