Products that undergo physical changes when heated, such as intumescence or warping, can be tested with the use of restraining equipment.
Tests are normally conducted with the product in a horizontal position, however, should a product be destined for vertical installation, it is possible to test in a vertical orientation. It is recommended to test three samples to check for any deviation in the results, but any number of samples can be tested.
Cone calorimetry testing analyses the behaviour of products and materials when exposed to heat and a source of ignition. The measurements from the cone calorimetry test are used to calculate the heat release rate of the sample throughout the duration of the test. Both the amount of energy released and how quickly that energy is released can be established. Testing can tell you:
- Time to ignition of the specimen
- Calorific value of the product
- Total heat release
- Total heat release plotted against time
- Heat release rate
- Smoke production
- The physical behaviour of the product
The results provide a valuable contribution to fire behaviour research and by using specialised software can help to predict likely product performance in the single burning item test,
One of the main advantages of conducting cone calorimetry testing is that smaller sample sizes are required, making it a quick, low cost, way to research the fire performance of products still in the development stage.