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 protecting underlying flexible polyurethane foam. Compared to foam alone, systems containing foam covered with upholstery fabric and no 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 heat release rate is reduced significantly. Secondly, while the cone calorimetric experiments focused on heat release rates, it was noted that the mass loss of the foam was negatively correlated with the effectiveness of the barrier fabrics. The estimated mass loss of foam during the period following the initial intense burning phase and 600 s is proposed as a means for characterizing the effectiveness of the barrier fabric in reducing the contribution of FPUF to the HRR. 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.