Material properties and fire test results



Five material properties commonly used to describe the fire behavior of solids were evaluated as sole explanatory variables for four small-scale fire tests with pass/fail outcomes by using a physically based probabilistic (phlogistic) burning model. The phlogistic model describes the likelihood of passing vertical Bunsen burner tests and a regulatory heat release rate test reasonably well over a wide range of material properties, as deduced from the correlation coefficient and mean deviation of the predicted and measured values. Of the thermal, combustion, and fire properties examined, the best predictors of the likelihood of passing the fire tests of this study were the heat of combustion of the sample, the heat release capacity, and the heat release parameter. The relative merits and drawbacks of qualitative (threshold) and quantitative (probabilistic) approaches to predicting fire test results using thermal and combustion properties are discussed. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.