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Cone calorimeter ISO 5660-1 & ASTM 1354

Rate of heat release according to ISO 5660-1 & ASTM 1354

The cone calorimeter determines the rate of heat release of a material or product exposed to a controlled level of radiation heat. The method also determines the ignition, loss of mass, smoke production and burning heat of a material.

Principle of the test method

A specimen of 10x10cm (with a maximum thickness of 5 cm) is placed on a sample holder fixed onto a weighing cell. A conical heating element provides a constant radiation heat onto the the specimen's surface. The radiation heat is set beforehand and may vary between 0 and 10 kW/m² (most commonly used temperatures are 25, 35 or 50 Kw/m²). This radiation approximates real-life fire situations.

The distance between the specimen and the bottom side of the burner is 2.5 cm. The normal position is horizontal, but the equipment can also be set up vertically.

Between the burner and the specimen there is an ignition candle to ignite possibly liberated inflammable gases.
The determination of the rate of heat release is based on the fact that the heat liberated during combustion is in proportion with the amount of used oxygen. Per Kg consumed oxygen, an average of 13.1 MJ of energy is liberated.
The smoke and combustion gases of the specimen are aspirated to measure the amount of oxygen. On this basis it is possible to calculate the amount of heat, liberated during the burning of the specimen.

It is also possible to measure the amount of produced smoke, as well as the amount of CO and CO2 in the fumes. Finally, the loss of mass and the ignition time are registered.