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The flammability of solids may be considered as a function of the ratio of heat release rate to critical ignition energy of the material being studied. The radiant-panel flammability test method, based on this concept, has shown its usefulness as a research tool. A review of previous studies made by this method is included.
Recently obtained experimental data are presented which illustrate the large changes in flammability that can occur with changes in the relative humidity of the ambient conditioning atmosphere. Data presented suggest that the subsurface heat-dissipation behavior of the material under test may have an important influence on flammability.
The paper concludes with the suggestion that, although the radiant-panel flammability test method has achieved some recognition, it would be a mistake to assume that it, or any other test method, would be ideal for prediction of the surface flammability hazard of all materials in all situations.
Robertson, A F
Chief, Fire Research Section, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D. C.