Flame spread over plastic materials in flashover room fires

Wan Ki Chow, C. W. Leung, Gaowan Zou, Hui Dong, Ye Gao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Flame spread over the surface of plastic samples under a flashover room fire will be discussed in this paper. Two plastic samples on polyvinyl chloride and polycarbonate were selected and tested. These materials are commonly used in the market but difficult to ignite under accidental fires. Full-scale burning tests were carried out in a room calorimeter in China. A bigger pool fire of diameter 1 m was set up to simulate an arson fire to onset flashover. Fire behaviours of the two plastic samples were assessed. The heat release rate, upper layer gas temperature profiles and heat fluxes at floor level were measured. Ignition behaviour, surface flame spread, melting and charring of the materials were observed. Note that these samples were basically not ignited while testing under a smaller pool fire of size 0.35 m × 0.35 m. The differences in burning under a flashover fire and an accidental fire must be watched in fire hazard assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-634
Number of pages6
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008


  • Flame spread
  • Flashover
  • Full-scale burning test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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