Modelling of heat release rate in upholstered furniture fire

G. W. Zou, Y. Huo, Wan Ki Chow, C. L. Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Many fatal residential fires started from burning upholstered furniture, and so upholstered furniture fire has been studied rather extensively in developed countries. As many upholstered furniture were made in China, the hidden fire risk should be studied more. In this paper, full-scale experiments on the burning of upholstered furniture manufactured in China were conducted and analyzed. The oxygen consumption method was used to measure the heat release rate in a room calorimeter. An ignition source of a 20-kW gasoline pool fire of 0.2-m diameter was used to test square foam cushions and 4-seater sofas. A model of heat release rate predicting upholstered furniture fire in a room was developed on the basis of earlier Swedish works. Results were then used to justify the application of the Combustion Behaviour of Upholstered Furniture model to predict the heat release rate of furniture manufactured in China. The numerical values of key parameters in the model were determined. It is proposed to build up a database that can be used to model heat release rates upon burning furniture. Detailed procedures are illustrated in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-385
Number of pages12
JournalFire and Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • heat release rate
  • room fire
  • upholstered furniture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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