Due to environmental awareness and economical considerations, natural fibre reinforced polymer composites seem to present a viable alternative to synthetic fibre reinforced polymer composites such as glass fibres. This is a feasibility study to asses the potential application of natural fibre reinforced sheet moulding compound materials (NF-SMC) for the use in building applications, with particular emphases to their reaction to fire. The reinforcing fibres in this study were industrial hemp fibres. The cone calorimeter which asses the fire hazard of materials by Heat Release Rate (HRR) was used, radiant heat fluxes of 25 and 50 kW/m2 were utilised to simulate an ignition source and fully developed room fire conditions respectively. The results acquired here demonstrate that the NF-SMC can compete with current building materials in terms of their fire behaviour. The peak heat release value for the fire retardant (FR) NF-SMC was 176 kW/m2 conversely for a non-FR NF-SMC was 361 kW/m2
- Natural fibre . Polymer composites . Cone calorimetery . Fire retardancy .