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Thermal Behaviour And Toxic Emissions Of Various Timbers In Cone Calorimeter Tests


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D. Tsatsoulas, H. N. Phylaktou & G. Andrews


This work investigated the thermal behaviour and toxic emissions of timber products common in industrial buildings in Northern Greece. Eight species of wood typically employed in floors, ceilings, shelves, pallets, packing cases, scaffolding, furniture etc., were selected for experimental investigation. The samples were subjected to constant incident heat fluxes of 35, 50, 65 and 80 kWm-2 in a cone calorimeter linked to a FTIR analyzer. Test results presented in this paper, cover the following characteristics: (i) Time to ignition; (ii) Heat Release Rate (HRR); (iii) Time to reach peak HRR; (iv) Average (300s) HRR; (v) Mass Loss Rate; (vi) Effective heat of combustion (MJ/kg); (vii) Smoke production and toxic species emissions. In general, a relatively fast ignition was observed from 75 to 100s at 35 kW/m2, which dropped to 15s (mean value of all samples) at 80 kW/m2. An exception to this were some composite types of wood with a facing finishing layer, i.e., MDF or chipboard faced with melamine or maple, especially at 35 kW/m2, which demonstrated an increased ignition resistance (MDF and chipboard by a factor of 1.5 to 2). Among the various samples, ‘no significant’ differences were observed in terms of peak HRR at all irradiance levels. \“Significant” acrolein peak values were measured for all samples. Samples with a facing layer (melamine in particular), which are known to have chemical flame retardation reached higher peak values of CO, HCN and NH3 during combustion. Keywords: wood, cone calorimeter, Heat Release Rate, ignition, emissions.


wood, cone calorimeter, Heat Release Rate, ignition, emissions