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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
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Cone Calorimeter Datasets - Introduction

We have created this public domain repository of the actual data files of the time-dependent data for cone calorimeter tests cited in publications of the Forest Service - Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) to make the complete data files more available. At FPL, the cone calorimeter has replaced various other test methods for our initial evaluation of the flammability of untreated and treated wood products. The test standards for the cone calorimeter test are ASTM E1354 of ASTM International and ISO 5660 of International Organization for Standardization. The cone calorimeter primarily measures the rate of heat released due to combustion of the specimen when it is exposed to a constant heat flux. The level of details in our public domain publications is often inadequate for purposes beyond the scope of the specific publication. The data recorded in a cone calorimeter test is obtained as a function of time. Data in publications is normally limited to averages of specific durations or selected data points of the time dependent curve.

Below is an example of the heat release rate curve for a cone calorimeter test of a wood product:

heat release rate curve for a cone calorimeter test of a wood product

The primary organization of the depository is by the publications in which the tests were cited. Users are urged to read the publications for supplementary information, additional descriptions of the test materials, and the context in which the tests were conducted in order to avoid any misuse or misunderstanding of the data. Descriptive information within the data files has not been edited to correct erroneous or incomplete information. Reference should be made to the cited publication(s). This depository is limited to cone calorimeter tests on building materials that were conducted at FPL and previously cited in FPL publications. Tests reported in more than one publication are included in the database for each respective publication.

All the data files are Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files (.xls). Tests numbered 1487 or less generated a worksheet page that has the descriptive information and the computed averages listed first, followed by the tabular data. There is also a graph of the heat release rate data included in the spreadsheet file. The "fixed" horizontal and vertical scales of the graphs may need to be adjusted to properly view the data. Data in these files are based on ASTM E1354. In 2008, the data acquisition hardware and software were upgraded. Subsequently, for tests numbered 1488 or greater, the data files consist of several worksheet pages. These worksheets include the reported data specified in ASTM E1354, the reported data specified in ISO 5660, and the tabular data. Test 1488 was conducted on October 23, 2008. When available, pictures of the test specimen are also provided.