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.

Fire-blocking Performance of Laminated Barrier Fabrics: Cone Calorimetric Characterization



Shonali Nazare, William M. Pitts, John R. Shields


The fire blocking performance of barrier fabrics laminated to upholstery materials was investigated. The results are two-fold. The first involves information gathered directly from cone calorimetry tests conducted on foam/fabric composites to better understand the role played by fire-protective barrier fabrics in upholstery covering flexible polyurethane foam. Compared to exposed foam, systems containing upholstery without a fire-blocking barrier fabric, there is a delay in ignition time. Once ignited, the greatest contribution to the peak heat release rate of the foam/fabric composite is the fabric. This is in contrast to the foam/fabric composite including a laminated fire- protective barrier. In these systems, the average heat release rate is noticeable reduced although still significant. Secondly, while these experiments focused on heat release rates measured with the cone, it was noted that the mass loss of the foam was negatively correlated with the effectiveness of the barrier fabrics. To capture the effectiveness of a given barrier fabric, a new parameter, mass loss of foam, is proposed. The estimated mass loss of foam during the period following the initial intense burning phase provides a potential quantitative characterization of fire-blocking performance of BFs. The average mass loss of foam at 600 s during these tests provided a quantitative measure that usefully classified laminated fabric effectiveness. Subject to testing of additional laminated fabric combinations, this parameter could prove useful for screening upholstery combinations prior to full-scale testing and may be useful in predicting the performance of full-scale upholstery products.
Conference Dates
February 6-8, 2017
Conference Location
San Fransisco, CA
Conference Title
Proceedings of the 2017 Fire and Materials Conference


fire-blocking, laminated barrier fabrics, cone calorimetry, burning behavior, mass loss rate, composite testing


Nazare, S. , Pitts, W. and Shields, J. (2017), Fire-blocking Performance of Laminated Barrier Fabrics: Cone Calorimetric Characterization, Proceedings of the 2017 Fire and Materials Conference, San Fransisco, CA (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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

Created February 3, 2017, Updated August 21, 2020