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Fire Performance of Upholstery Materials: Correlation between Cube Test and Full-Scale Chair Mock-Ups



Mauro Zammarano


In our previous work, the fire performance of seven upholstery materials combinations - including six barrier fabrics, one cover fabric and one flexible polyurethane foam - was assessed by (1) full-scale chair mock-up tests and (2) a newly developed bench-scale test, referred to as the "Cube test". Herein, we investigate the correlation between the flaming performance observed in the Cube tests and in the full-scale chair mock-ups. Two performance parameters are adopted in the Cube test: (1) time to wetting, tw (i.e., time elapsed between test start and the time at which flammable liquid products become first visible on the bottom surface of the Cube test specimen), and (2) heat release at wetting, HRRw (i.e., value of heat release rate measured at t=tw). Three performance parameters are adopted for full scale chair mock-ups: (1) peak of heat release rate, PHRR, (2) time to PHRR, tPHRR, and (3) average heat release rate measured between test start and the so-called "bottom ignition", AHRRBI, where bottom ignition is defined as the appearance of prolonged and localized flaming underneath the chair mock-up. Data analysis revels that there is a strong linear correlation (coefficient of determination R2 > 0.9) between tPHRR and tw, PHRR and tw and AHRRBI and HRRw.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 2194
Report Number


Cube test, Barrier fabric, Residential upholstered furniture, Flexible polyurethane foam


Zammarano, M. (2021), Fire Performance of Upholstery Materials: Correlation between Cube Test and Full-Scale Chair Mock-Ups, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created November 17, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022