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Fire Behavior of Upholstered Furniture (NBS Monograph 173)



Vyto Babrauskas, John F. Krasny


A systematic review is made of engineering data on the major aspects of upholstered furniture flammability: cigarette ignition, small open flame ignition, radiant ignition, transition from smoldering to flaming, flame spread rates, and heat release and mass loss rates during fully-involved burning. Other areas discussed, but for which less data are available, include smoke production and radiant heat fluxes. Mattresses and transportation vehicle seating are included, along with upholstered chairs, loveseats, and sofas. Appropriate test methods most suitable for measuring each of these properties are discussed. Where available, relationships are presented which permit the quantitative preduction of full-scale furniture behavior from beach-scale tests. Where such relationships are not available, generalizations of qualtitative results of empirical tests are given. Areas where substantive work is not available are outlined.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


beds (furniture), cigarettes, fabric flammability, fire tests, flame spread rate, heat release rate, ignition, mattresses, plastics, smoke production, smoldering, upholstered furniture


Babrauskas, V. and Krasny, J. (1985), Fire Behavior of Upholstered Furniture (NBS Monograph 173), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created October 31, 1985, Updated October 12, 2021