New Possibilities in Fire Testing through in Situ Cone Calorimeter – Evolved Gas Analysis Coupling

Florian Tomiak and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dietmar Drummer, FAU Erlangen

In the event of a fire, most polymers contribute substantially to the heat generation and toxic gas emissions. To reduce the risk of fire, polymeric materials can be modified by the addition of flame retarding substances, that are specifically designed to decrease flammability, flame spread or toxic gas emission properties. The most efficient flame retarding mechanisms require a certain set of reactions between the flame retarding substance and the matrix polymer. Hence, flame retardant recipes have to be specifically designed for every single polymer. Due to the high complexity of combustion processes, it is essential to gain a deep understanding of the occurring chemical interactions. Research requires extensive possibilities for data collection, which include not only information about general fire characteristics like ignition times, heat development or smoke development, but also information about evolved gas phase compositions. An in situ coupling of Cone Calorimeter fire tests with GC-MS and FT-IR gas analytics offers a modern possibility to collect both sets of relevant data. 

Florian Tomiak studied industrial engineering and has been working as scientific assistant at the Institute of Polymer Technology (Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg) since 2017. His research focusses on flame retardancy of polymeric materials, whereas his major research topics include material science, recipe development and processing of multi-material flame retardant thermoplastic systems.

Prof. Drummer studied production engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and received his phD in mechanical engineering. Within his industrial career he focused on innovations in injection molding. Since 2009 he is full professor and ordinarius at the Institute of Polymer Technology at FAU. Additionally he is head of the Bavarian Polymer Institute (BPI) in Fürth and leading the polymer group of Neue Materialien Fürth GmbH (NMF).