March 7, 2017

A History of Fire Testing by J. Randall Lawson

By J. Randall Lawson

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New Concept for Rate of Heat Release Measurements by Oxygen Consumption,” The Combustion Institute/Eastern Section, Pittsburgh, PA, December 1978. 66 American Society for Testing and Materials, “E1354-04, Standard Test Method for Heat and Visible Smoke Release Rates for Materials and Products Using an Oxygen Consumption Calorimeter,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2007. 31 Figure 6 First O2 Consumption Calorimeters, Furniture Calorimeter (left) & Cone Calorimeter (right) Oxygen consumption calorimetry may be recognized as one of the most important developments in fire testing.

2, Boston, MA, October 1933. 46 A. J. , Bulletin of Research No. 32, Chicago, IL, September 1944. 47 National Fire Protection Association, “A Method of Measuring Smoke Density,” Quarterly of the National Fire Protection Association, Vol. 57, No. 3, Boston, MA, January 1964. 49 This ASTM standard has been extensively used in the transportation industry through regulations from the United States, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Additionally, ASTM E662 has been referenced by the NFPA, National Electrical Code.

Use of these tools has directed attention to improvements needed in fire testing. As demonstrated by the World Trade Center disaster, new approaches are needed for evaluating fire performance of the following items: • Improvements are needed in fire tests of spray on and other thermal protection systems for structural members. • Fire resistance testing is needed for structural member fastener systems while carrying a design load. • Reduced scale fire resistance testing of fastener systems for structural members that produce accurate scalable results for full size assemblies.

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