Cone calorimeter testing of foam core sandwich panels treated with intumescent paper underneath the veneer (FRV)
Surfaces of novel foam core sandwich panels were adhered with intumescent fire‐retardant paper underneath the veneers (FRV) to improve their flammability properties. The panels were evaluated by means of cone calorimeter test (ASTM E 1354). Variables tested were different surface layer treatments, adhesives used for veneering, surface layer thicknesses, and processing conditions, having the objective of obtaining similar or better flammability as that of solid particle boards. Previous research showed that sandwich panels without FRV compared to panels with FRV generally had much higher heat release rates, somewhat higher heat of combustion and much higher smoke production due to the polymeric foam component of tested panels. The present study shows that using FRV adhered to the surface layer of sandwich panels dramatically improved flammability properties; the best FRV performance resulted from panels produced with thicker face layer (5 mm) and lower press temperature (130°C) and adhered with an acrylic thixotropic adhesive. Such protected foam core particleboard has heat release rate profiles as low as that is typical of commercially available fire‐retardant–treated plywood, thus implying a low flammability rating when tested in accordance with both single burn item (Euro Class B anticipated) and steiner tunnel (North America Class A anticipated) tests.
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