WPI Fire Science Laboratory

Fire propagation apparatus, cone calorimeter, infrared imaging system, phase doppler particle analyzer, and room calorimeter are available, with associated gas analysis and data acquisition systems. The wet lab area supports water-based fire suppression and demonstration projects. Serving as both a teaching and a research facility, the lab accommodates undergraduate projects as well as those of graduate students in FPE, mechanical engineering, and related disciplines.

Cone Calorimeter

  • ASTM E 1354: Standard Test Method for Heat and Visible Smoke Release Rates for Materials and Products Using an Oxygen Consumption Calorimeter
  • ASTM E 1474: Test method for determining the heat release rate of upholstered furniture and mattress components using a bench-scale oxygen consumption calorimeter
  • ISO 5660-1: Rate of heat release from building products
  • This device is used to burn small samples of various materials and gather data on heat release, combustion products, and other parameters associated with combustion.
  • It is a fire test instrument based on the principle of oxygen consumption calorimetry. This empirical principle is based on the observation that, generally, the net heat of combustion of any organic material is directly related to the amount of oxygen required for combustion. Approximately 13.1 MJ of heat are released per kilogram of oxygen consumed.

Fire Propagation Apparatus

  • ASTM E 2058: Standard Test Methods for Measurement of Synthetic Polymer Material Flammability Using a Fire Propagation Apparatus (FPA)
  • The FPA is used to evaluate the flammability of synthetic polymer materials and products. It is also designed to obtain the transient response of such materials and products to prescribed heat fluxes in specified inert or oxidizing environments and to obtain laboratory measurements of generation rates of fire products CO2, CO, and, if desired, gaseous hydrocarbons) for use in fire safety engineering.

Room Calorimeter

  • ASTM E 603: Standard Guide for Room Fire Experiments
  • ASTM E 1537: Standard Test Method for Fire Testing of Real-Scale Upholstered furniture items
  • UL 1056: Fire Test of Upholstered furniture
  • California Technical Bulletin 133: Flammability test procedure for seating furniture for use in public occupancies.
  • ASTM E 1590: Test method for fire testing of real-scale mattresses
  • California Technical Bulletin 129: Flammability test procedure for mattresses
  • ISO 9705: Full-scale room tests for surface products
  • UBC 8-2: Test method for textile wall coverings
  • This system is used to perform intermediate and large-scale fire tests and to gather data on heat release rate, combustion products, and other parameters associated with combustion.
  • It is a fire testing system based on the principle of oxygen consumption calorimetry. This empirical principle is based on the observation that, generally, the net heat of combustion of any organic material is directly related to the amount of oxygen required for combustion. Approximately 13.1 MJ of heat are released per kilogram of oxygen consumed. The processes of ignition and flame spread are recorded during the fire test.

Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA)

  • TGA is a type of testing that is performed on samples to determine changes in weight in relation to change in temperature.
  • It measures weight changes in a material as a function of temperature (or time) under a controlled atmosphere. Its principal uses include measurement of a material's thermal stability and composition. Thermogravimetric Analysis instruments are routinely used in all phases of research, quality control and production operations.
 
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