SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1994

Fire Properties of Room Lining Materials Measured by the Cone Calorimeter, OSU, IMO, and Full-Scale Room/Corner Tests


Thirteen typical construction materials were evaluated over a two-year period using three small-scale standard test methods; the ASTM E 906 method using the Ohio State University Calorimeter (OSU), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) test method using the Robertson (radiant panel) apparatus, and the ASTM E 1354 method using the Cone Calorimeter. The same lining materials were also evaluated in full-scale room burn tests.

Small-scale test data were compared with those of full-scale tests. Each small-scale test method was examined to evaluate its appropriateness for predicting full-scale fire performance of lining materials. The cone calorimeter and OSU methods were also evaluated to determine repeatability and reproducibility.

The data from all tests were examined to determine patterns of correlation between the small-scale and full-scale results. Based on the data provided by the OSU and the IMO methods, it seems possible to classify materials that flashover in the full-scale room burn using the PHR and THR from the small-scale tests. Materials with PHR values above 220 kW/m2 and THR values above 45 MJ/m2 in the OSU test (with 50 kW/m2 exposure) will likely reach flashover in the selected room fire scenario.

Cone calorimeter data were used to approximate flashover time in the full-scale test. Various combinations of sample density, thickness, ignition time, PHR, and THR were used to predict flashover time. The goal was not to correlate flashover times necessarily, which may depend on the ignition flame size, but to determine the fire hazard potential of materials by determining whether the material will flashover in a full-scale test. The small-scale methods were not always adequate in predicting full-scale performance for some materials, such as rigid polyurethane.

Author Information

Kim, A
National Fire Laboratory, Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Developed by Committee: E05
Pages: 186–200
DOI: 10.1520/STP12957S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5285-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1889-8