MAN-MADE POLYMERS -- THE FIRE SAFETY ISSUE REACHES FLASHPOINT

The National Academy of Sciences will issue recommendations in mid-January designed to halt "improper, unsafe use of polymers" . Pointing to marked increases in the use of manmade polymers in virtually every transportation vehicle, the unpublished report says, "the sharply increased fire load, with relatively unknown fire characteristics, poses a substantial problem that has not yet been fully realized, much less evaluated" . The Academy will urge an immediate ban on the use of polyurethane in new mass transit vehicles and its replacement in operating equipment. The Academy notes that passenger compartment furnishings are now almost 100% polymeric material (predominantly flexible polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, and SBF elastomers) which are "major contributors to the high frequency of passenger compartment fires" . The Academy warns that although these materials are required to pass Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 302 with a horizontal burning rate of 4-in. (10.2 cm) per minute, most of them are used in a vertical configuration where the actual burning rate would be expected to reach several times that exhibited in the horizontal configuration.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Automotive Industries International

    Chilton Way
    Radnor, PA  United States  19089
  • Authors:
    • Hodges, P D
  • Publication Date: 1979-12

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00324996
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 15 1981 12:00AM