SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1965

Effect of Moisture on Surface Flammability of Coated and Uncoated Cellulosic Materials


A method is described for the rapid in situ determination of the thermal inertia for surface heating (kρc product) of materials using a sensitive infrared detector. Experimental measurements are given of the effect of moisture content on the thermal inertia and on the surface flammability of selected cellulosic materials conditioned to equilibrium at relative humidities ranging from 0 to 99 per cent. It is shown that (1) the thermal inertia of uncoated hardboard and fiberboard material can be represented as a linear function of its moisture content, (2) if the appropriate thermal properties are used, the flame-spread factor is inversely proportional to thermal inertia, and (3) the unbroken surface film of coated materials results in a lower ignition sensitivity than that predicted on the basis of thermal inertia.

Author Information

Lee, T., G.
National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D. C.
Loftus, J., J.
National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D. C.
Gross, D.
National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D. C.
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Developed by Committee: E05
Pages: 112–123
DOI: 10.1520/STP48431S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5970-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6617-2