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Burning Behaviour of Curtains and Drapes : Flame Spread Measurement Using a Large Ignition Source


Curtains and drapes are not always regarded as building materials and are not included in the European standardisation that is going on in the field of reaction to fire of floors, walls, ceilings, etc. in relation to the Construction Products Directive. Nevertheless, they can also play an important role in the spread of fire through buildings and they need to fulfil minimum requirements for fire safety in each European country. Consequently, the harmonisation of testing methods for the burning behaviour of curtains and drapes is necessary on a European level. As far as low risk areas are concerned, two methods for measuring ignitability and flame spread of curtains have already been published, both using a small flame as an ignition source. For high risk areas, however, ignition by means of larger ignition sources may occur. Unfortunately, no test method is actually available.

The first aim of the project is to establish a test method for assessing the burning behaviour of curtains and drapes using a large ignition source simulating a waste paper basket. In order to simulate a burning waste paper basket, the ignition source needs to be a combination of radiant heat and flames. One main restriction of the test method is that it needs to be a small scale test method measuring only ignitability and flame spread parameters. Reaction to fire parameters like smoke development, heat release and toxic components are not taken into account.
The second aim of the project is to try to provide a harmonised European system that could be used to replace all the different existing national systems, especially those for the contract or public area. To try to reach this objective, the new method developed in this project will be used in combination with the two above mentioned methods that have already been published in order to assess the overall burning behaviour of curtains and drapes.
A draft testing procedure has been defined. Fifteen test materials have been chosen and samples supplied to the participating laboratories. Tests are being carried out to establish the correlation with national methods currently used.
The project will be carried out by a total of ten partners from eight different countries: ITF (FR) CENTEXBEL (BE) CITEVE (PT) EMPA (CH) Hoechst Trevira (DE) Forschungsinstitut Hohenstein (DE) LNE (FR) IFP (SE) TNO (NL) VTT (FI). A limited number of the partners will be responsible for the research and development of the new methods. Most of the partners will be involved firstly in verifying the new method that has been established and secondly in making the comparison with their own national test methods and requirements. The results will be transmitted to CEN TC 248 / SC 1 / WG 1.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Institut Textile de France
Avenue Guy De Collongue
69132 Ecully

Participants (1)

7,Technologiepark Zwijnaarde 7
9052 Zwijnaarde