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Smoke Measurements in Large and Small Scale Fire Testing. Final Report.



Richard W. Bukowski


The extinction beam photometer is the most widely used instrument for taking smoke measurements in fire testing. Most existing designs were found to be inaccurate and unreliable for measurements where smoke detection performance is evaluated due to the low levels of smoke present at activation. Accordingly, a new extinction beam photometer design was developed which will provide the stability and accuracy necessary for these measurements. The paper describes the new design and proposes its adoption as an industry standard. The paper also discusses the need for a reference ionization chamber instrument and a reference measurement which relates to gas sensing fire detectors.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


fire tests, ionization chamber detectors, light extinction, light scattering, smoke measurement


Bukowski, R. (1978), Smoke Measurements in Large and Small Scale Fire Testing. Final Report., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 21, 2024)


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Created October 1, 1978, Updated February 19, 2017