Fire Retardant Fabrics

Essay by Anonymous UserJunior High, 8th gradeA+, February 1996

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Purpose: To find which fabric is most flammable. (Which fabric will catch fire fastest)



safety goggles

Stop Watch

5cm x 5cm piece of Denim

5cm x 5cm piece of Nylon

5cm x 5cm piece of Polyester

5cm x 5cm piece of Cotton

5cm x 5cm piece of Rayon

5cm x 5cm piece of Acrylic


1) Place a piece fabric under flame. Make sure that each time you do this, the flame is placed at an equal distance from the fabric.

2) As soon as fabric is exposed to flame, begin timing with the stop watch

3) Stop timing when fabric ignites.

4) Put out the fire. Try not to destroy the fabric, it can be used for presentation.

5) Record the time it took for the fabric to ignite

6) Repeat steps 1 to 5 three times for each piece of fabric.

Hypothesis: We think that the Polyester will ignite the fastest, because it is very light, and delicate.

We think that the Nylon will ignite in the longest time because it is much like a plastic.

Results: In order to control all of the variables, we burned and timed each type fabric three times. Below is a table showing our results in seconds.

Next Page

Fabric 1st Time 2nd Time 3rd Time Average

Denim 5.3 sec 4.8 sec 5 sec 5.03 sec

Nylon 4 sec 3.3 sec 4.1 sec 3.8 sec

Polyester 0.5 sec 0.7 sec 0.7 sec 0.63 sec

Cotton 4.6 sec 4.2 sec 5 sec 4.6 sec

Rayon 3.5 sec 3 sec 2.4 sec 2.97 sec

Acrylic 4.7 sec 5 sec 4.1 sec 4.6 sec


The Polyester ignited the fastest, which is what we hypothesized. The flame was nearly an inch away from the fabric, when it ignited. It burned up in a...