Research Programs

in the National, European and International ambit in which we participated
















The project started in April 2009 and finished in November 2012.
The following important results have been achieved:

  1. A new repeatable and reproducible fire test method for the measurement of toxic gases has been developed (67 products have been tested according to this test method). It is based on a continuous analysis of gases in function of time with FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometry)
  2. A new conventional pragmatic classification system for the toxicity of fire effluents released from products on trains is proposed by TRANSFEU.

This classification is based on the time to reach an incapacitation of the passengers and staff. It has been validated by comparison with real scale test on a coach.

  1. A general description of the fire safety engineering methodology to be used for surface transport has been written by TRANSFEU.
  2. It describes the fire safety objective, fire risk analysis approach, design fire scenarios and safety criteria, the numerical simulation tools and which data has to be used.
  3. Numerical tools and method of simulation have been developed in order to simulate the fire effect on structural integrity of fire barriers, the people evacuation, the fire growth, and toxic effects on staff and passengers due to the combustion of products.

These simulations have been validated by comparison with full and real scale tests results.

Transfeu WP2 - D2.1.2 Report on the development of the protocol for dynamic small scale test method for the measure of toxic gases
01 - Smoke chamber modelling
02 - Smoke measurement data
03 - Filtering
04 - Influence of air extraction from the test chamber of ISO 5659-2 on the relative pressure
05 - Chamber leakage test procedure
06 - Cone radiator calibration procedure
07 - Smoke opacity calibration procedure
08 - FTIR analyser calibration using standard gas bottles procedure
09 - FTIR continous analysis validation by standard liquids combustion
10 - Influence of 2nd filter on FTIR sampling line to prevent HCl and other halogen gases trapping
WP6-D6.3.2 Real scale test Scenario 2A-2B in Voghera (PV) Italy
WP6 Real scale test Scenario 2A-2B presented in Rostock on 26 September 2013
WP6_D6.5 Part 1 Validation of the conventional classification criteria proposed in WP3

Status of Transfeu Program on April 2013

WP7 – Dissemination and Contribution the conventional pragmatic classification system for the toxicity of fire effluents released from products used in Railway vehicles.

Cable test IEC 60332-3-10 Fullscale Test (Dynamic measurement of calorimetry, smoke and toxicity) and ISO 5659-2 modified according to TRANSFEU Program (Dynamic measurement of smoke and toxicity)

LSFire Testing Institute srl & Università dell’Insubria - Seminar on research program TRANSFEU
TRANSFEU Final Report

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LSFire Testing Institute srl & University of Insubria Aula Magna University of Insubria
of Varese Friday 27 May 2011.
Seminar on the research program TRANSFEU

Methods that will be used in EN 45545-2 for the evaluation of the reaction to fire of the products used
in Rail- and Surface transport in Europe: maritime and collective on the road.

The use of the Fourier transformation for the dynamic analysis of the toxic gases
contained in effluent applied to the chamber ISO 5659-2 in cumulative conditions.
Presentation of the equipment and the test procedures.
Explanation of the indexes CIT and FED / FEC.

Some knowledge on the technique of FTIR analysis

What does it mean FTIR?
FTIR means : Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

What does it represent?
In the context of the infra-red spectroscopy, IR radiation passes through a sample (sample cell gas) where some of
the radiation are absorbed from the same sample to other are transmitted. The resulting spectrum represents the
absorption (peaks) and the transmission specific molecular that creates a digital fingerprint of the sample.
This phenomenon is due to the ability of IR radiation to cause variations in the vibrations of the bonds (stretching &
bending) that pass from their state fundamental vibrational to a state vibrational excited.
Every single gas molecule then has the property to absorb this energy corresponding to one or more specific regions and notes of the mid-infrared.

Why use this technique?
Infrared spectroscopy has represented one of the techniques from laboratory more credible and used in the analysis of materials for over 70 years.
An infrared spectrum represents a fingerprint of the sample. The peaks of spectral absorption correspond to the
frequencies of vibration between the bonds of atoms that form the molecular structure of the material.

From a moment that each different material has a unique combination of atoms, 2 different substances will never
have the same spectrum. As a result, infrared spectroscopy can be adopted as a technique for identification
(qualitative analysis) of any type of material.

In addition, the size of the peaks in the spectrum provide a direct indication of the quantity of material present is
through the use of modern software that process special algorithms, the infrared is an excellent technique for the
quantitative analysis.


The use of the Fourier transform for the dynamic analysis of toxic gases in EN 45545-2

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The Firestarr project is a 3-year research program jointly funded by the European Commission and the industry. It was founded in 1997 to help the work of CEN/TC256/WG1 CENELEC/TC9X/WG3 for drafting a part 2 (Requirements for fire behaviour of materials and components) and for the part 7 of the European standard prEN 45545 [1] "Fire protection on railway vehicles." The main purpose of the 11 main consortium partners Firestarr are the following:

1 Identify the risks of fire in European trains and define the most relevant fire scenarios that occur most frequently.

2 Select the most appropriate test methods for the assessment of reaction to fire behaviour, as defined by the critical effects of a fire, such as fire initiation, time of a uncontrolled state (flashover), time to loss of visibility and time to lethal condition to passengers.

3 Obtain test results on three representative ranges of railway products (ie structural, furniture and electrical) and compare them with known values ​​of national tests.

4 Propose a classification system for these product ranges and validate these proposals with the real scale tests on parts of European trains.


FIRESTARR Final Report

WP3-2 Selection of large and real scale test methods for furniture products

WP4-2 Small-scale tests on furniture products

WP7-2 Large scale tests on furniture products

WP8-2 Real scale tests on railway seats

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ROLAND is a program that L.S.F. coordinated under contract with the EU Commission and European industry associations and the construction industry.
It is the development of a method of semi-scale conceived by LSF, that under the conditions of thermal attack established - 40 kW/m2 - allows you to measure with good accuracy, repeatability and reproducibility, time of ignition, the spread of fire on the surface in various directions, the amount of heat produced by combustion (by means of the temperature curve of the effluent) and the opacity of the smoke emitted.

Is considered a method of semi-scale "simplified" for the very low cost of the equipment and for the tests. He also showed a good correlation, it would be more correct to say correspondence with the data obtained with the Room Corner Test (test of full-scale - the reference scenario).


Report Part I - Results of tests

Report Part II - Evaluation of tests results

Report Part III - Comparison with the SBI and modeling

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Description of the main NON-CONFIDENTIAL researches carried out
Conclusions about the differences between results of full-scale tests<
and small scale tests

The electrical cables are a very particular product, that, with regard to fire behavior, deserves a separate discussion.

The complete evaluation includes the ignitability, namely the ease to ignite when subjected to thermal attack relatively weak, as a flame of relative power or an irradiation of a few kW/m2, the propagation and the quantity produced, over time, of heat, opaque smoke and toxic gases.
Each of these phenomena, which we call parameters, contributes to calculate an assessment of hazard that determine then the "class", used in fire safety regulations, in order to correlate the performance of the fire with the criteria used in various scenarios.
The cable has some peculiarities: is a composite product, sometimes by many components, which react to the fire's stress in the successive stages, determining the trend. It varies during the development of the fire itself according to the components that are gradually affected. The outer sheath, the filler when present, the sheaths of various internal cables, the nature of the cables and the diameter of the various components. Even the composition of the conductors, the shape the diameter and the total weight have influence on the behavior of the cable.

We have worked very well and for several years beginning since 1998

The documents that we present are related only to some research, submitted to ISO TC92sc1 and sc3, to the CEN, to the European Commission in Brussels which has financed in part. Other works such as: efficiency of fiber optic cable during the fire extended, in order to verify the functioning of transmission and reporting system in the tunnel, for example, which is owned by the company that has made perform it: on that occasion, I was been fascinated by a small device capable to slice the fiber optics, measure the accuracy of the cut at 90 ° (a minimum difference was been marked, in order to correct the error, even just of one or two degrees, which would has compromise the signal) and then perform the welding. It cost, at that time, about 65 million lire: the operator kept it with an almost morbid.  It was also used in transoceanic cable ships, and there were very few copies in circulation. The main conclusions that we can now consider acquired in this sector are the following:

  • Have been improved both the equipment that the procedure for the simultaneous measurement of the propagation (already traditionally foreseen), the heat release, the opaque smoke and toxic gases' emissions. In a single real scale test, therefore very reliable because very realistic. In the building sector, the toxicity of the effluent is not yet taken into account in the regulations, as it is in the field of transport, particularly rail and maritime sectors
  • Bench scale tests have a relative significance; the gases that are in storage apparatus, as the ISO 5659-2 box, are NOT the same. In the first ones we find always or almost the formaldehyde, that in the full scale tests, in which the flames are always present, we don't find anymore. Even tests, involving the analysis of a gram of fuel product for each of the components present in the coatings and in the filler, doing bubble the gas in water bottles, do NOT give a usable information to predict the release of the cocktail of species of toxic gaseous of the cable in its entirety.


  • In addition, today we use FTIR, whose acquisitions (which does not disappear down the drain of the sink as the solutions for the analysis of wet chemistry) enters the computer for future memory and control; it is possible years later "read" the interferograms and discover species for which, in its time, was not possible to perform calibrations. Discovering the carbonyl fluoride in 2006 produced from a product tested in 1994 is a great satisfaction, for example, and only the FTIR allows this type of testing.


The method of small scale that provides for the use of the ISO 5659-2 box with the FTIR application, thanks to the TRANSFEU program, has arrived at a level of reliability never achieved so far in terms of repeatability and reproducibility. (For information about the changes they have done to achieve this, refer to the appropriate chapter of TRANSFEU).
Recently, we compared the results of small scale with those of a real scale, and we found that to 50 kW/m2 irradiance, the first system always produces formaldehyde, while this gas, rather dangerous, is not produced in conditions of real-scale , although the thermal attack is more or less equivalent.
The cause is due to ventilation, controlled but present in large-scale tests while it is absent in ISO box, either in the presence of flames in contact with the cables in the first case while in the second the decomposition is caused only by the irradiation of the radiant cone.
In ISO until recently we were  convinced that the pilot flame was not necessary in order to obtain the combustion and therefore in the test at 50 kW/m2 the pilot flame is not provided

We have to admit the mistake: the same  tests repeated with the pilot flame produce different FEC values because the formaldehyde does NOT ever appears

It will be possible, in the future, add the pilot flame even in tests at 50 kW/m2, but I remain convinced, however, that the real scale tests are more representative of the actual fire and therefore more reliable to evaluate the behavior of the products. and also represent an appreciable cost reduction




Measuring the toxicity of gaseous effluents during the Full Scale test prEN 50-399-2-1 / 2 using the FTIR
The document submitted to ISO at the Belfast meeting - WG1 SC3 - in the spring of 2005, shows the first systematic search for the measurement of heat release, flame propagation, optical density of fumes and toxicity of gaseous effluents evaluated all simultaneously with a full-scale test, which well reproduces the real fire.

Measuring the toxicity of gaseous effluents during the Full Scale test prEN 50-399-2-1 / 2 using the FTIR (based on the document ISO / TC 92 SC3 WG1 (Fires models) N642 Spring 2005) presented at the meeting ISO in Belfast

We never accepted that an effective risk assessment of potential toxicity of effluents could be achieved by measurements made in a single moment in the history of fire. Nor do we believe that the small-scale test is able to provide such data without validation and correlation of a real fire . With the use of an FTIR apparatus and techniques developed over the last eighteen years, we are now able to monitor the continuous production of gases, some of which are generated only at specific times during the cycle - life of the fire. Some of these gases are known to exist only for a short time at certain temperatures . Thanks to the calibration of the apparatus with this technique, we are now able to measure , in addition to the group of gas indicated by the various standards , also other species such as acrolein , formaldehyde, carbonyl fluoride , phosgene , acrylonitrile, ammonia , hydrogen sulfide, capable of increase in effluent toxicity developed during the fire .


Link to document





Produce a standard that allows to check the continuity of efficiency in service of the cables involved in a fire for a prolonged period of time (30 -120 min [90]).

This research was performed on a commission from a group cable manufacturer for use in tunnels or in scenarios in which it is important that the cable will continue to transmit signals over an extended time, while the fire continues to produce energy.
The signal, in fact, continued to be received until a few seconds of the extinction of the flame of the two linear burners, from which it was wound up the cable.

It is interrupted when the fibre glass, in cool condition, is broken









We have started to use the so-called 3x3 room, of 27m3, for the measurement of the amount of smoke produced by the cables. In the course of its construction and development for calibrations, we realized the extreme importance of the fan and the need to measure the amount of air movement (the standard is expected to flow from 5000 to 15000m3).
With a precise calibration of the speed of the blades, and therefore of the movement of the air, you get a really remarkable repeatability, difficult to find in the tests measures the fumes.





The report prepared for the CEMAC from the SP 2 is a program which LSFIRE participated in testing different families of cables; some of which were also tested with regard to the toxicity of the effluent is that the SP all'LSFIRE. And as always, between our two laboratories values ​​are reproducible.


CEMAC (CE MArking of Cables) is a project created with the objective of supporting a smooth transfer from reaction to fire national demand in Europe to a requirement for CE marking harmonized. The starting point is the decision of the European Commission on classification criteria since 2006 and the test procedures referenced in the decision. The project has improved the CEMAC testing standards, procedures developed extensive application of the test results, EXAP, and helped with a large test database. CEMAC is a collaboration between a group of research institutes, testing laboratories and industry, Europacable. It is believed that the result will be used in the European system in a short time.

Link al documento




During the program Tranfeu, was carried out a survey of 11 railway cables (ie Halogen free, as long predicted for use in trains).
The data produced by these cables are 3 cables were added search ISO 2005 to make a comparison.
There have been tests of full-scale, in our view the most significant because they represent a real fire. The ventilation and the presence of the flame in the standard produce differences between the results of the test room in ISO 5659-2 accumulation, we performed for all cables in order to compare the differences between the two systems.
The most interesting result, in my opinion, is that ISO IN THE ROOM WOULD BE BETTER TO USE THE PILOT ALSO A 50 kW/m2 ATTACK OF HEAT TO AVOID GAS NOTED THAT DOES NOT PRODUCE REAL in the fire (see data of formaldehyde).

Test dei Cavi IEC 60332-3-10 Fullscale Test (Dynamic measurement of calorimetry, smoke and toxicity) e ISO 5659-2 modified according to TRANSFEU Programme (Dynamic measurement of smoke and toxicity)


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Represents a pre-normative research program initiated by the European

European Commission DG XII (General Directorate of Research and Science

Development) and DG III (General Directorate for Industry) operated in cooperation

with the following institutions:




The program was coordinated by LSFire Laboratories.

The goal of the program is to provide a Belfagor technical support and

Scientific functional requirements provided in the First Essential Requirement of the

draft Directive proposal on fire behaviour of Upholstered Furniture, concerning

products and components which reads: "First Essential Requirement: initial ignition level.

The upholstered furniture and related items should be designed and manufactured to

not ignite the exposure of different types of heat source classified into three

levels of risk (home, public places, prisons and psychiatric hospitals)."




Final Report (II Edition by Maddalena Pezzani)

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GIUDIZIO DI DIO (God's judgment)

Study on the reliability of small piles of wood in scots pine (CRIB) as secondary sources of ignition in the assessment and classification of upholstered furniture.

Running of the program in phases:

PHASE A) Identification of products "homogeneous" with RHR constant or at least within the limits of acceptability


PHASE B) Assessment of behaviour "constant" of Cribs of various sizes, in terms of RHR and other measurable parameters with the cone calorimeter


PHASE C) Application of cribs deemed "acceptable" with respect to the parameters A / B / C model of upholstered furniture with different combinations of padding and upholstery and study of the problem D (attack mode and application of energy during the test )


STEP D) Test of combinations and / or components limit for a serious study of reproducibility and repeatability, occurred at this point with the collaboration with other laboratories.


Final Report (Italian)

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" Jim Quintiere, professor of MARYLAND UNIVERSITY asked me to research the availability of work that the student would have to play his best for his thesis in fire engineering, funded in part by NIST in Washington. Jim knew our room corner, and the first research in which we participated for the ISO. Until then, the thermal attack and the mechanism to reach the overs had been studied a little 'approximately, and the measures presented by Matti Kokkala VTT were carried out in a dihedral open, as is also evident in the text. I accepted the proposal, Scott has been with us a few weeks, he had brought a nice equipment for data acquisition, we have built together with the plates that would work as radiometers, etc.. His graduation was a success, I was invited to the presentation of the document to the NIST, which he published in his research: it was an important step for us to use and knowledge of the ISO 9705 room corner test, which has been adopted as the reference scenario, at least in theory, by the CEN system of classification."

Analisys of the ISO 9705 Room/Corner Test: Simulations, Correlations and Heat Flux Measurements




During some tests of full-scale (houses built with sandwich panels of different nature), we wanted to monitor the progress of opaque smoke inside the product.

Some optical groups among those used in Voghera were mounted so as to measure the times in which the visibility is canceled at the different heights before reaching the flash-over and / or before leaving the top of the door



Presentation of a program of research and evaluation of fire behavior of coatings by a technically valid and low cost method.

Convegno ISA - Roma 24/05/2016







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