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Lateral Ignition and Flame Spread Apparatus


This apparatus, developed at EL, determines material properties related to piloted ignition of a vertically oriented sample under constant and uniform heat flux up to 6.5 W/cm2 and to aerial flame spread on a vertical surface due to an externally applied radiant flux. The apparatus uses a specimen measuring 162 mm x 806 mm. Analysis of the data yields effective values for the thermal inertia of the material, its ignition temperature, time to ignition, the velocity of lateral flame spread, and a parameter related to flame temperature.

Scientific Opportunities / Applications:

The data generated are used in current fire growth models and as component elements in fire hazard and fire risk assessment. This apparatus is referenced in ASTM E1321 "Standard Test Method for Determining Material Ignition and Flame Spread" and in ASTM E1317 "Standard Test Method for Flammability of Marine Surface Finishes."

Access Information:

Industry, university, and government representatives are encouraged to use this facility on a collaborative or independent cost reimbursable basis, with certain restrictions. For safety reasons, EL staff supervise the use of the apparatus.


Name: Nelson Bryner
Phone: 301-975-6868
Email: nelson.bryner@nist.gov
Fire Research Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8660
Gaithersburg, MD  20899-8660