Materials and Products Database

Repository of materials and products properties and fire test data to improve fire modeling and fire investigation.
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Furniture and building materials continue to change with the ongoing development of engineered polymers, composites, and fire retardants. For most consumer products, this has manifested as a shift in composition from natural materials to synthetic materials. During a fire, these synthetic components may allow flames to spread more rapidly than on natural materials, may accelerate transition to under-ventilated conditions, and may lead to more severe toxic and thermal exposures. With the makeup of contemporary furnishings and finishes becoming more complicated and dangerous, fire investigators need to have a better understanding of the ignition parameters and heating and burning behavior of these materials.

FSRI developed the Materials and Products (MaP) Database, an interactive, web-based repository populated with data from rigorous testing of the most common contemporary products and materials found in the modern built environment.

Beginning with materials from eleven categories, the MaP Database contains property data for different types of roofing, exterior siding, structural materials, insulation, plumbing, cable, engineered wood, upholstered furniture, sleeping products such as mattresses and sheets, general polymers, and interior finishes such as vinyl tile, cotton, and rayon. Additional materials will be added to the database as more property data are generated.

Fire investigation, fire research, and fire modeling communities can access the MaP Database to enhance insight into computational data such as ignition temperatures, inputs to models used to test hypotheses about potential fire scenarios, predicting fire growth and spread, smoke movement, and much more.

Access the MaP Database 

Key Objectives

The MaP Database is the output from FSRI’s research project, Development of an Interactive Database of Contemporary Material Properties for Fire Modeling, and was created to:

  1. Measure material properties and fire test data on a combination of at least 70 construction materials, interior finishes, and furnishings for use as fire model input.

  2. Develop an online database which provides adequate detail to enable accurate use of the data as input to a fire investigation analysis.

  3. Demonstrate the use of the database for hypothesis testing.

The initial stage of this project was supported in part by Award No. 2019-DU-BX-0018, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.


Technical Panel

FSRI assembled a technical panel of national fire investigation experts, fire researchers, consultants, and firefighters to provide direction for the project. These individuals represent a range of forensic specialties in both the public, private, academic, and research sectors to guide the application of the data to the fire modeling and fire investigation communities in support of the Development of an Interactive Database of Contemporary Material Properties for Fire Modeling project.

Name Affiliation
Vyto Babrauskas Fire Science and Technology Inc
Ernest Barile Philadelphia Fire Department
Nicole Brewer Portland Fire & Rescue
Morgan Bruns St. Mary's University, Texas
Steve Carman Carman & Associates Fire Investigation, Inc
Paul Claflin Bureau of ATF, Fire Investigation & Arson Enforcement Division
Jason Dress Bureau of ATF, Fire Research Laboratory
Adam Friedman Bureau of ATF, Fire Research Laboratory
Brian Geraci Maryland State Fire Marshal
Barry Grimm International Association of Arson Investigators
Brian Lattimer Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Chris Lautenberger Reax Engineering
Kevin McGrattan National Institute of Standards and Technology
Tom Sabella Fire Department City of New York
Stanislav Stoliarov University of Maryland


For questions about this program, please contact:

Published: July 20, 2023