The new cone calorimeter of our research group, manufactured by Concept Equipment Ltd. in UK, has been freshly commissioned and is now entering its research use. Cone calorimeter is a widely used tool in fire performance testing of materials. In principle, the sample is ignited and burned below a truncated cone -shaped heater element, imposing a radiant heat flux in order of tens of kilowatts per square meter. The released smoke gases are collected and analyzed to give heat release rate and other data, while also recording the sample mass. In the figures, the burning sample is of black PMMA plastic.
In addition to the standard testing in atmospheric conditions as in the figures, our new cone calorimeter has also a tailor-made capability to materials testing in reduced oxygen concentrations. This is achieved by closing the doors and vents on the sides of the sample chamber, inserting roof panels on its top, and flushing the chamber with a nitrogen flow from below the sample.