September 17, 2020

Reduced scale fire tests and extraction data from light weight cladding composites

Extraction of potential kinetics data from reduced scale or small scale flammability test subject to more realistic fire conditions, paving the way for new fire testing standards for lightweight polymeric materials used in exterior walls or claddings. Data obtained through reduced scale or small scale fire test will provide new kinetic data for the pyrolysis rate and identify the actual chemical composition of emitted volatiles that are then utilised to calibrate the pyrolysis model.

This project will review the current research to fire-resistive technology and fire code for the cladding system. It will provide a direction where improvements are needed. Flammability and thermal properties will be analysed that influences the fire behaviour while describing some of the prediction techniques used to model cladding fire behaviour. The project will also discuss the various cladding materials properties under fire especially the smoke effluents including the toxic gases (CO, CO2, HCN, HCl and NOx), soot formation, particle size and flame droplets behaviour.

The project will utilise the small scale fire testing facilities to extract the pyrolysis data. An instrument like Thermo Gravimetric Analyser (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) will identify the thermal properties (Thermal degradation, Mass loss and decomposition) and for Flammability, the Cone calorimeter will be used. Microscopy imaging for char and multi-component analysis will be examined by the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy will be employed to analyse the fire effluents (Soot particle). Smoke density and toxic gaseous elements will be measured by FTIR (synchronise with cone calorimeter) and for melting and dripping behaviour UL 94 will be used.