Faculty Advisor

Nicholas A. Dembsey

Faculty Advisor

Jonathan R. Barnett

Faculty Advisor

Brian J. Savilonis

Faculty Advisor

Kathy A. Notarianni


The Cone Calorimeter has been used widely for various purposes as a bench - scale apparatus. Originally the retainer frame (edge frame) was designed to reduce unrepresentative edge burning of specimens. In general, the frame has been used in most Cone tests without enough understanding of its effect. It is very important to have one - dimensional (1D) conditions in order to estimate thermal properties of materials. It has been implicitly assumed that the heat conduction in the Cone Calorimeter is 1D using the current specimen preparation. However, the assumption has not been corroborated explicitly to date. The first objective of this study was to evaluate the heat transfer behavior of a Cone specimen by examining its three - dimensional (3D) heat conduction. It is essential to understand the role of wall lining materials when they are exposed to a fire from an ignition source. Full - scale test methods permit an assessment of the performance of a wall lining material. Fire growth models have been developed due to the costly expense associated with full - scale testing. The models require heat flux maps from the ignition burner flame as input data. Work to date was impeded by a lack of detailed spatial characterization of the heat flux maps due to the use of limited instrumentation. To increase the power of fire modeling, accurate and detailed heat flux maps from the ignition burner are essential. High level spatial resolution for surface temperature can be provided from an infrared camera. The second objective of this study was to develop a heat flux mapping procedure for a room test burner flame to a wall configuration with surface temperature information taken from an infrared camera. A prototype experiment is performed using the ISO 9705 test burner to demonstrate the developed heat flux mapping procedure. The results of the experiment allow the heat flux and spatial resolutions of the method to be determined and compared to the methods currently available.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Fire Protection Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





temperature measurement, heat flux maps, Cone Calorimeter, three-dimensional heat conduction, fire growth models, retainer frame, ceramic fiberboard, edge effect, one-dimensional heat conduction, heat flux mapping procedure, infrared camera, specimen preparation, edge frame, one-dimensional heat conduction model, thermal properties, Heat, Transmission, Heat, Conduction, Walls, Fire testing, Cone calorimeters, Infrared photography