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Impact of Test and Foam Design on Smoldering



Mauro Zammarano, Szabolcs Matko, Rick D. Davis


Smoldering propensity of fabrics used in upholstered furniture can be assessed using foam mockups according to the CPSC proposed regulation. This approach requires a polyurethane flexible foam with reproducible and well- characterized smoldering. The standard reference material (SRM) 1202 is a kit including a smoldering standard polyether-based polyurethane foam, a denim cover fabric, a cotton fabric, and 1196 cigarettes. The denim fabric supplied in the kit is used for determining the mass loss value, which is stated on the SRM certificate, for the PUF. In order to assess the smoldering propensity of other cover fabrics, the denim fabric must be replaced with this other fabric. During the development of SRM 1202, the mass loss values drifted drastically from test to test for the same batch of foam and even more significantly from batch to batch. The highest reproducible mass loss values were in the low twenties. The purpose of the research reported here was to determine if the mockup test device and the polyurethane foam could be modified to increase the total mass loss values (more severe smoldering) and increase reproducibility.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1799
Report Number


Polyurethane foam, smoldering, furniture, flammability, SRM 1202


Zammarano, M. , Matko, S. and Davis, R. (2013), Impact of Test and Foam Design on Smoldering, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created May 14, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018