Fire Retardant Foam

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Unlike the United States, Canada, Britain and many other European countries New Zealand does not have legislation in place to ensure Combustion Modifiers are added to polyurethane foam. Investigations were made in the late 1970s into the viability of adding the Combustion Modified quality to FPF foam in New Zealand, but it was found to be too expensive.

While there may be benefits in legislating for all FPF to be Combustion Modified, that alone will not stop ignition. Certainly the issue of fabric use in furniture would have to be considered. Many fabrics used today are quite flammable and can be the initial source of ignition.

All FPF, including combustion modified, will burn when subjected to sufficient heat and an adequate ignition source. Combustion Modified foam can be more resistant to ignition and may burn more slowly once ignited, however it will still burn.

Fabrics can affect fire performance. The composition of the fabric is significant. Fibre content can vary greatly. Products such as cotton, rayon, linen, wool, leather, and synthetics like polyester, nylon, and PVC all have different properties.

Several grades of Fire Retardant foam that meet British standards are available. These are very high quality grades of foam, available in a range of hardness’s. These should be used in conjunction with a suitable fabric to ensure that full benefits will be achieved.

The most important aspect though is to be responsible and take care with ignited substances.