Facts on Flammability

Slide 21 of 37

There are significant material interactions that impact burning behavior. Beginning with the filling and fabric materials, there are a list of factors that affect test performance.

As you are aware, no standard foam exists. There are numerous combinations of FPF type, density, physical size and shape having different degrees of openness, differing formulations, and the presence or absence of fillers, combustion modifiers, dyes, antistatic additives, etc.

The FPF may be solid, laminated, glued, chopped or shredded.

Equivalent variables extend to fiberfill. Each particular fiber blend will perform differently in an ignition or smoldering test, and then differently again in combination with various foams and fabrics.

There are a multitude of fabric materials and fabric characteristics. There are natural fabrics like cotton, wool, leather and rayon. And there are synthetics such as nylon, polyester, acrylic, modacrylics and polyolefins as well as PVC. And the wide use of blends makes the fabric picture all the more complex. The performance of the fabric will be influenced by its weight, weave, fiber denier, degree of openness, by back coatings, thickness of the pile; by dyes, impurities and the use of topical treatments.

Application of an inner-liner will certainly affect performance and there may be surprises here. Some systems with inter-liners have actually performed worse than those without them.

And that is the point. Composite system results are impacted by so many variables, the tests must be conducted on the composite system to make any sort of useful judgement about fire performance.