By J. Randall Lawson

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Upholstered Furniture Heat Release Rates Measured with a Furniture Calorimeter,” NBSIR 82-2604, National Bureau of Standard, Gaithersburg, MD, 1982. , “Development of the Cone Calorimeter – A Bench Scale Heat Release Rate Apparatus Based on Oxygen Consumption,” NBSIR 82-2611, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD, 1982. 70 Since this developmental work, the oxygen consumption heat release rate measurement technique has been further refined by Parker, Babrauskas, Janssens71 and others, and it has become a critical measurement tool as a part of more than a dozen small-scale, intermediate-scale, and large-scale fire test method standards in North America and throughout the world.

Mag. 33, pp. 196-203, 1917. 64 Huggett, Clayton, “Oxygen Consumption Calorimetry,” Fall Technical Meeting on Chemical and Physical Processes in Combustion, Combustion Institute/Eastern States Section, Pittsburgh, PA, December 1978. L. , “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.

It will end gracefully as science and engineering develop uniquely crafted materials that will not burn. However, there may still be a need for some materials that have a combustible nature. With these materials the understanding of their properties, which would have come from fire testing, will come through rationalization by the intelligent machines that create the materials. These intelligent machines, when asked, will provide a detailed assessment of how the materials will ignite before they are instantly extinguished by interactions with miniature protective elements within the materials or by other materials that sense combustion and have the capability to independently initiate a fire suppression process.

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