Material flammability is a core research area in the fire science community. Understanding ignition, fire spread, and heat release characteristics are key in developing fire models, predicting fire behavior, quantifying fire risk, and developing fire protection strategies. Our research focuses on characterizing new materials and emergent technologies and the effect they may have on existing fire protection systems and infrastructure. The goal of the research is to evaluate and improve fire resistance of new materials being used in the built environment.

Table of builing material insulation properties
flow chart of optimization tool
material rankings based on different optimization objectives

Properties of insulation materials chosen for evaluation in the study (top), Outline of optimization objectives and ranking metrics (middle), material rankings with 95% confidence intervals based on different objectives (bottom).






Researcher: Bonnie Roberts

Developing green building construction methods is vital in building an environmentally sustainable infrastructure. One aspect of green building construction is the selection of materials, in particular building insulation, that have low environmental impact. However, selection of building insulation materials requires balancing several competing requirements, namely, thermal properties, fire resistance, sustainability, cost, and longevity. The purpose of this research project is to develop a methodology to evaluate and rank various insulation materials by weighting these requirements. Experimental testing is used to characterize physical, thermal and fire properties of the materials.