Faculty Advisor

Dembsey, Nicholas A.


Fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) are becoming more prevalent as a building material due to their versatility and ease of installation. FRPs provide potential benefits relative to limited heat transmission but are also a potential hazard due to fire spread. This project studied heat transfer and flame spread characteristics of FRPs using inexpensive Cone Calorimeter testing (ASTM E1354). By using data collected from the Cone and data gathered from thermocouples placed in each sample, a procedure was created to estimate thermal properties of FRPs during early stages of heating when the material is nominally inert. A screening tool was also developed, which will allow manufacturers to predict the result of a costly NFPA 285 test using spill plume theory and data collected from a NFPA 285 test.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2013


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Fire Protection Engineering

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