Contact: Mark Bello
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Caption: Using a testing device called a cone calorimeter, NIST researchers measure the heat-release rate and other flammability properties of materials. Above, untreated polyurethane foam catches fire from a nearby heat source. Below, foam treated with a novel clay-filled coating did not ignite when exposed to the same heat source. Instead, a fast-growing protective layer -- called char -- forms on the surface.
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