Fire Research
Home Programs Publications Software Staff Contacts

Barrier Fabric Workshop

Progress in Technologies and Fire Performance Testing of Barrier Fabrics Intended for Mattress and Upholstered Furniture Industries

March 18th-19th, 2009
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
100 Bureau Drive Gaithersburg, MD 20899 USA

Sponsored by:  NIST and the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA).

The Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) of the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) continues to be actively involved in advancing the measurement science of mattress and upholstered furniture flammability through consortia and developing technical information used in fire performance regulations, such as the reduced foam flammability consortia ( and the Consumer Safety Product Commission (CPSC) 16 CFR 1633, respectively.  Our success in delivering high quality technical information for the important questions and concerns in the fire research community strongly depends on BFRL working with industrial stakeholders.  In the past, BFRL sponsored workshops were critical in developing these relationships and identifying these technical obstacles.

In order to comply with fire performance requirements, such as CPSC 16 CFR 1633 and 16 CFR 1634, fire blocking barrier fabrics have or may be heavily utilized by the mattress and upholstered furniture industries. 

On March 18th-19th 2009, BFRL and the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) sponsored a 2 day workshop to discuss the material, technology, and measurement science deficiencies and obstacles that are preventing the advancement of innovative barrier fabric materials, and the utilization of barrier fabrics for the mattress and upholstered furniture industries. This information is invaluable to BFRL scientists as it will help us focus our research activities on the critical material, technology, and measurement science problems facing barrier fabrics in these industries.  At this workshop stakeholders in these markets shared their views on the current state and future needs of technologies, small and large scale testing, and regulations as it relates to barrier fabrics used or intended for mattress and upholstered furniture.  BFRL and BFRL-sponsored researchers also provided an overview of their research as it relates to this subject.


Day One - March 18, 2009

Introduction, Rick Davis
Barrier Fabric Overview, Gordon Damant
Learnings from Fire Performance Testing Development, Tom Ohlemiller
Mattress Product Compliance to Open Flame Standard Using Barrier Fabrics, Carlene Evenson Peterson

Large Scale and/or Standards Testing (LST)
Mattress, Upholstery Furniture and Barrier Fabrics, John McCormack
Regulation of BedclothingMaterials for Flame Retardancy, Jeff Vercellone

Small Scale (Bench) Testing (SST)
Bedclothes, Upholstered Furniture, and Barrier Materials in Small, Scale Testing, Michele Wallace
Modeling and Testing Approaches for Fire Barrier Product Development, Ley Richardson

Day Two - March 19, 2009

Barrier Fabric Materials
Barrier Fabric Materials Overview, Alan Handermann
Layer-By-Layer Assembly of Flame Retardant Coating for Foam and Fabric, Jamie Grunlan
High Performance Fibers Using Nanofillers, Satish Kumar
Cotton Barrier Fabric Technologies, DV Parikh

Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE)
SHE Overview of Fire Retardants, John McCormack
Sustainable Flame Retardant Polymer Nanocomposites, Jeffrey Gilman

Foam Flammability Consortium Update
Novel Materials and Testing Methods for Foam Flammability Testing, Mauro Zammarano

The documents provided here are presented in .pdf format. To read these files, you can download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader free. The views presented here are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of NIST.

Rick Davis, Ph.D.
Materials Research Engineer BFRL, NIST
Office: 301-975-5901 Mobile: 240-246-5698



Graphic Rule

Privacy Policy  /  Security Notice  /  Accessibility

Disclaimer  |  FOIA  |  Information Quality  |  About NIST

NIST is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce

Link to


Last updated: 6/8/2009