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Fire Performance of Furnishings as Measured in the NBS Furniture Calorimeter. Part 1.



James R. Lawson, William D. Walton, W H. Twilley


A heat release rate calorimeter developed at the National Bureau of Standards was used to measure the fire performance of a wide range of furnishings. The heat release rates measured in the calorimeter are determined through the use of oxygen consumption techniques. Data are presented on the free burning characteristics of 28 tests involving 23 different types of furnishings. The furnishings evaluated are classed into the following groups: easy chairs, sofas, waiting room and patient chairs, wardrobe closets, bookcase and bedding. The information presented in this report will provide a basis for selecting types of furniture to be used in health care facilities, hospitals and other living facilities. The test results also provide information needed by other areas of fire research, such as the study of fire growth in compartments and mathematical modeling of fire development. In addition to heat release rates, data are given on the rates of mass loss, thermal radiation and smoke production from the burning furniture specimens.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


furniture, calorimeters, heat release rate, mass loss, radiant energy, smoke, oxygen consumption


Lawson, J. , Walton, W. and Twilley, W. (1984), Fire Performance of Furnishings as Measured in the NBS Furniture Calorimeter. Part 1., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created January 1, 1984, Updated February 19, 2017