Experimental research

Expertise and efficiency

Fire behaviour

Product and equipment designers must incorporate the risks of fire or explosion in the development phase.
Safety managers need to know the fire behaviour of certain appliances during operation.
We can provide a suitable response to your business and your specific issues:
  • By carrying out fire behaviour tests
  • By carrying out tests according to your test protocol
  • By developing an evaluation methodology, developed by CNPP or in conjunction with the applicant

Fire safety often leads managers to seek to determine the power released by the fire.
We have a calorimetry hood that can be used to characterize the combustion of products or equipment. The tests can be performed in free combustion (simulation of the outbreak of fire) and in forced combustion (simulation of combustion of the item in the fire phase).
The power of the fire is determined from the quantity of oxygen consumed (Thornton method) or from the mass loss, continuously measured.
Additional measurements can be made:
  • Measurement of the thermal radiation at a given distance
  • Characterization of fume composition: CO, CO2, NOx, HCl, HBr, HF, VOCs, PAHs, formaldehyde, acrolein, PCB, dioxins, furans
  • Measurement of smoke opacity
The issues involved in water-based fire extinguisher systems: the composition of the extinguishing water and the composition of the fumes in the extinguishing phase can also be experimentally studied by CNPP.
For many years, CNPP has been taking part in the development and performance of tests on the risks involved in storing raw materials or finished products.
Our test facilities allow the CNPP to carry out full-scale tests or at the pallet level.
The main tests are as follows:
  • The risks involved in the storage of tires and evaluation of the fire-extinguishing systems,
  • Fire behaviour of a store of building products,
  • Fire behaviour of finished products (bottles, cans, etc.) study of non-combustibility for the exclusion from section 1510 of Facilities Classified for Environmental Protection (ICPE)
Tanks of gas and flammable liquids are liable to explode when subjected to fire.
The risk of explosion is often prevented through the installation of safety devices to discharge overpressure.
We carry out fire behaviour tests on the safety devices in question, by subjecting the tanks of gas or flammable liquids to standardized fires. The internal pressure and tank temperature are measured over time.
Risk control also requires an assessment of the consequences of a fire on a tank in case of malfunction of the safety devices.
The effects of the explosion are determined by installing dynamic pressure sensors at various distances and video recordings with a high-speed camera.

EURENCO trust us!
Recognized for their high level of expertise and know-how in chemical synthesis and the transformation of energy molecules, EURENCO develop, manufacture and supply a highly diversified range of advanced energy materials.
We conducted fire behaviour and fire extinguishing tests on one of their flagship products: the Veryone Cetane Improver.
The specialty chemical additive is designed to improve the cetane number and therefore the efficiency of the combustion of diesel fuel in diesel engines. It is therefore a chemical that is both combustible and combustive.
Test 1
This test focuses on the behaviour of the Veryone Cetane Improver in the presence of a flame in 4 different phases:
soft flame / harsh flame / pressure system / spark by electric arc.
Test 2
This test focuses on the behaviour of the Veryone Cetane Improver in the presence of heat sources in 2 phases: electric heating and gas heating.
3 questions for Pierre Elmerich, Marketing & Sales Director for Veryone, a division of Eurenco
What were the objectives of the tests performed in the CNPP fire and environment laboratory?
As a world leader in its field, EURENCO wants to be at the forefront of safety. In this context, we wanted to have the behaviour of our product in the presence of flame and heat assessed by fire safety professionals. Although the scientific literature is available, experiments in real-life conditions had yet to be performed and filmed. The highly instructive videos allow us to reach out to the operators who use our products every day in the 4 corners of the globe. The two main objectives of these tests were to downplay the situation and step up safety attitudes.
To what extent have these tests helped you?
First, we learned a great deal in-house about the behaviour of our product in the presence of heat sources. Visitors to our plants will quickly become aware of the potential risks thanks to these videos. We are using these tests and videos to launch a major communication campaign on the safety of the use of our flagship product. As soon as the shooting of the videos in CNPP laboratories had been completed, that aspect was taken into account for our external communication. Finally, they confirmed our previous experience, that extreme temperature and heat are necessary for our product to ignite and decompose.
If you had to define the services of our laboratories in a few words, what would they be?
In CNPP we met fire safety professionals who were attentive to our needs, which were purely exploratory at the start of the study. Together, we refocused, modified and adapted the study based on the results as and when they came in. In the operational phase and during the filming of the how-to videos, the fire safety advice provided by CNPP was paramount for safely making the videos with maximum visual impact. The ready availability of the CNPP team both on indoor and outdoor locations allowed us to complete the 5 films on time.

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