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Ken Knox View Drop Down
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Joined: 20/Sep/2012
Location: lethbridge
Posts: 1
Post Options Post Options   Quote Ken Knox Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Vinyl Siding
    Posted: 20/Sep/2012 at 12:57pm
Good morning,

I have been involved in an ongoing discussion on the flammability of vinyl and its ability to rapidly spread fire across a vertical plain. I have done considerable research in multiple engineering and fire science texts and come to the conclusion that what some investigators are stating is not supported by science. Vinyl side major component is PVC (polyvinylcloride) I can find a variety of information that talks about PVC and how it does not readily support flaming combustion and in most instances will self extinguish if piloted ignition is removed, however i can not find a lot of test information on the properties of vinyl siding. Logic dictates that if vinyl siding is manufactured primarily using PVC it also would have a low flame spread rating and nor support flaming combustion well.

I suspect that what some investigators are seeing is the building sheathing which is under the siding burn,in this case our construction industry uses OSB extensively which is highly volatile and has a high flame spread rating. My research shows that vinyl melts at 170 F and will ignite at 670 F +.

I am concerned that investigators are falling into a myth trap and would like to present on this subject in the future. If anyone has some authoritative studies on this subject i would appreciate hearing of them. If there are some links to videos that i could access to demonstrate this phenomenon which you could steer me toward that also would be greatly appreciated.
Ken Knox
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Edward G. Roberts View Drop Down
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Joined: 12/May/2012
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Edward G. Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/Sep/2012 at 9:47pm
Ken,

I've just had a few minutes to reread your post.  Are you talking about the vertical spread/propagation of fire involving vinyl siding, or lateral spread?

This video (no, I am not an Ff88 representative) seems to suggest that the combination of vinyl siding with the OSB produces the effect you have been discussing. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBjp5LDc-7s

While the set with no fire retardant burns quite handily, the other two sets theoretically take the vinyl and OSB out of the equation respectively.  The treated vinyl burns and melts, but does not go up violently, while the treated OSB seems to diminish the combustion rate of the untreated vinyl.

This might be good inspiration for an experiment.  What are your thoughts on possible burn testing, Ken?
Edward G. Roberts, CFI
Firensics, Inc.
www.firensics.com
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