Materials and Products Database Tech Guide

Technical Reference Guide Released for the Materials and Products Database

April 18, 2023

UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) has released a Technical Reference Guide to accompany the Materials and Products (MaP) Database. An interactive, web-based repository, the MaP Database is populated with data from rigorous testing of the most common contemporary products and materials found in the modern built environment. It was developed to address the knowledge gap regarding properties, ignition parameters, and burning behavior of contemporary products and materials commonly found in the modern built environment.

For the past several years, the NIJ Technology Working Group’s Operational Requirements for Fire and Arson Investigation have included several scientific research needs that require improved knowledge of properties of materials that are common in the built environment, and therefore likely to be involved in a fire scene. The specific areas of research include: adequate materials data inputs for accurate computer models, understanding the effect of materials properties on the development and interpretation of fire patterns, and evaluation of incident heat flux profiles to walls and neighboring items in support of fire model validation.

Each of these research topics rely, in part, on accurate knowledge of the physical conditions of a material prior to the fire, how the material will respond to the exposure of heat, and how it will perform once it has ignited. The project has made advancements in collecting experimental data and property information for the purpose of making the data publicly available and easily accessible to fire investigators, fire protection engineers, and fire researchers.

The Technical Reference Guide describes FSRI’s experimental procedures and data analysis approaches including estimated uncertainty in the measurements that have been adopted to collect the data for selected materials. The analytical procedures through which the properties were extracted from the collected data provide users of the database with context for the available data. There is no expectation or requirement that users of the database utilize the same analytical methods that are described in this work, rather the included methods and techniques constitute technically defensible recommendations for the fire modeling and investigation communities.

This project is 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. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

Download the Technical Reference Guide

Research Project: Materials and Products Database
Report Title: Materials and Products Database - Technical Reference Guide
Report Authors: Mark McKinnon, Craig Weinschenk, Daniel Madrzykowski
Download the Report:
Release Date: April 18, 2023