What’s a Cone Calorimeter?

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A cone calorimeter is a device used to test the combustion properties of materials by heating them. It uses a conical heater and other units to measure heat, energy, smoke, mass loss, and oxygen levels. It is mainly used in fire safety engineering by manufacturers and government research labs to ensure material safety.

A cone calorimeter is a large device that heats samples to understand the combustion properties of the samples. It is called a cone calorimeter because the part that heats the sample is conical in shape; compared to the rest of the machine, though, it’s a pretty small unit. In addition to the conical heater, there are other important parts, such as the sample holder, a shutter mechanism and sampling units. Overall, this calorimeter is used in fire safety engineering, and manufacturers and government research laboratories use it most often. This allows users to understand the burning elements of a material to measure its safety.

Cone calorimeters are large devices made for the purpose of taking samples and setting them on fire. These samples can be furniture samples, insulation materials, or fabric types. The purpose of setting the sample on fire is to understand how much heat and energy is required to burn the sample, how much smoke it produces when it does, how much mass is lost, and how much oxygen is used up. By understanding these measurements, engineers can recognize how dangerous it is to use the material.

There are many different calorimeters, but the cone calorimeter is special because it uses a cone-shaped heating unit. Known as a conical heater, this unit is responsible for the heat output and is the most used element on the calorimeter. To burn materials, the conical heater emits large amounts of energy and converts electricity into heat. While this is one of the most important parts of the calorimeter, it is also a very small part compared to the whole machine.

While the conical heater may be the most important unit, there are other important units needed for a cone calorimeter to accurately measure combustion information. The sample holder is required to secure the sample, while the shutter mechanism protects the sample area and operators. There are also many sampling units that test for oxygen amount, mass loss, and smoke amount.

A cone calorimeter, overall, is used predominantly in the engineering field to test materials for fire safety. The main users of this calorimeter are manufacturers who test a product before selling it. Other common users are government and independent labs that do commercial research and testing. By understanding how a material performs in conditions of extreme heat, safety regulations and laws can be established to ensure the safety of people who use and work with the material.

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