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Experimental and Analytical Studies of Floor Covering Flammability with a Model Corridor. Final Report.



W Denyes


An experimental model corridor facility was designed, constructed, and instrumented. The facility examines flame spread over floor covering materials in a small scale corridor under a forced air flow condition. A gas burner flame serves as the ignition source. A study was made of the factors influencing flame spread in the model corridor. These factors included energy release rate of the ignition source, air velocity, and model corridor geometry. Twenty-six carpet materials and 5 other floor covering materials were studied in the model corridor, and 369 flame spread runs were conducted. It was found that flame spread behavior in the model corridor generally involves either a rapidly accelerating flame front which propagates the full 8 foot length of the test section ("flameover"), or involves a decelerating flame front which results in extinction a short distance from the ignition source. Radiant heating of the floor material due to hot products of combustion heating the ceiling is a significant factor in causing flameover. Carpet assembly was found to affect flame spread more significantly than pile fiber type. The data have been analyzed to determine quantitatively the effects of the factors influencing flame spread. Scaling relationships have been presented to attempt to extrapolate the model corridor results to full scale corridor fires. Finally a procedure has been suggested for using the facility in a floor covering flammability test method. The procedure is based on determining the minimum energy input rate to cause flameover.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


flame spread, floor coverings, corridors, scale laws, test methods


Denyes, W. (1973), Experimental and Analytical Studies of Floor Covering Flammability with a Model Corridor. Final Report., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created May 1, 1973, Updated February 19, 2017