Full-Scale Compartment on Fire Experiments on "Upholstered Furniture"
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
This experimental research is part of an overall ongoing research program on domestic fire hazards, conducted at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, by the Civil Engineering Department (Fire Engineering). The research program aimed to predict the behaviour of upholstered furniture in fires and the hazards produced during their burning. Experiments were conducted on six identical style chairs inside the standard ISO-Room. The six chairs had the same size, shape, timber frame, and fabric, but a different type of foam was used for each chair. Experimental measurements for each chair included: Heat-release rate, heat-flux on the floor of the fire-test room, mass-loss of the burning chairs, and temperature history inside the fire-test room, also the mole fractions of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and oxygen inside the exhaust duct. Data is presented in graphs and tables. From the experiments it was found that each type of foam presented different fire hazards. But each of them had a rapid-fire growth. It was also found that some of the chairs produced more than one type of fire hazards and others relatively had a better performance. Data obtained from ISO Room experiments were compared with those obtained from the furniture calorimeter tests for identical chairs. Studies and analysis carried out and focused on the fire performance for different foam types and the impact of the surrounding environment on the fire hazards produced by each foam type. It was clear from the comparison between both the ISO Room experiments and the Furniture Calorimeter tests that the larger space produced less hazardous effects than a small compartment. The foam performance in the large space was better than its performance inside the small room.