This report begins with a discussion of the mechanisms of flame spread over combustible materials while describing the NBCC prescriptive solutions that establish the acceptable fire performance of interior finish materials. It is noted that while flame spread ratings do give an indication of the fire performance of products in building fires, the data generated are not useful as input to fire models that predict fire growth in buildings.
The cone calorimeter test is then described in some detail. Basic data generated in the cone calorimeter on the time to ignition and heat release rates are shown to be fundamental properties of wood products which can be useful as input to fire models for predicting fire growth in buildings.
The report concludes with the recommendation that it would be useful to run an extensive set of cone calorimeter tests on SCL, glue-laminated timber and CLT products. The fundamental data could be most useful for validating models for predicting flame spread ratings of massive timber products and useful as input to comprehensive computer fire models that predict the course of fire in buildings. It is also argued that the cone calorimeter would be a useful tool in assessing fire performance during product development and for quality control purposes.