Determination of the flammability properties of polymeric materials: A novel method

R. Carvel, T. Steinhaus, G. Rein, Jose Torero-Cullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Standard flammability tests, like the Cone Calorimeter, were developed several decades ago and provided sufficient flammability data for the purposes of the time. However, recent pyrolysis models have revealed the limitations of the standard test in providing adequate data for current flammability analysis and modelling. This paper reviews the assumptions in the standard test and proposes a novel sample holder for the cone calorimeter which incorporates a large block of aluminium at the rear face of the sample under test. This allows the heat losses at the rear face of the sample to be measured precisely and enables more accurate calculation of the material flammability properties. Tests of PA6 and a nano-composite of PA6 & Cloisite 30B, carried out using the standard and new sample holders, are presented and discussed. The peak of high heat release rate observed in standard tests of PA6 is not observed using the novel sample holder, where the burning behaviour of PA6 and the nano-composite material are largely similar. The implications of these observations are discussed. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-319
Number of pages6
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Cone calorimeter
  • Flammability
  • Heat transfer
  • Nano-composite
  • Fire retardant


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