Most of the flame-spread test methods are empirical in nature because.it is very difficult to simulate by a single test method the variety of conditions present in fires. There is believed to be a serious disparity between the performance of materials in actual fires and the results of some of these smallscale tests. For example, certain plastic foam materials were judged to be of low flammability based on the results of certain small-scale tests.
However,in actual experience or by observed performance in room comer wallceiling research ignition and flame spread were found to be rapid. As a result the Federal Trade Commission has cited many plastic foam manufacturers for advertising fire performance based on the small-scale results. There has been considerable emphasis recently on development of the room corner wall-ceiling tests or modification of other flammability tests to better reflect the performanceof plasticfoam materials.The American Society for Testing and Materials has also established a committee to select and developtest methodsfor materials to better represent the potential hazard under actual fire conditions.
There have been some limited attempts to relate thermal and kinetic parameters to the burning process of solids and spread of fire . there have also an excellent book,Flames, Their Structure, Radiation, and Temperature, which includes discussion of the theories of flaming processes .This chapter is primarily limited to surface flammability measurements as applied to building materials and closely allied solid products. However, there are also fire-hazard regulations that apply to the transportation,storage, and use of certain liquids and gases. The fire-hazard classifications for these materials are based chiefly on flash point, ignition, temperature,and lower and upper flammability limits.