Development of Low-Cost Fire Blocking Inter-Liners for New Zealand Furniture
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Over the past 20 years soft furniture in New Zealand has followed the same global trend of incorporating an ever increasing proportion of synthetic polymeric materials. Despite the proven flammability potential of the products, the willingness to introduce regulations controlling the threat of flammability of these household items has been absent. During the same period substantial improvements have been made in the field of fire retardant or fire and heat resistant fibres, however, application of these in the furniture market has not been widely supported. This research project aims to demonstrate that relatively simple and low-cost fire barriers can be produced which substantially reduce the heat release rate and delay the time to peak heat release rate of polyurethane filled soft furniture. The approach taken here considers the reduction of the thermal contribution from the polyurethane inner core that forms the major proportion of the products’ fire load. This research does not consider or seek to eliminate the threats created by a flammable upholstery layer. It is noted that the latter threat is also an important consideration and the achievement of a truly fire resistant furniture product can only be obtained by the fire resistance of all of its components. The research described in this report has shown that an effective low-cost fire barrier for furniture is achievable using blends of readily available fibres and additive treatments, combined in a non-woven substrate.