On his website, combustion expert witness William E. Gale, Jr., PhD, PE, CSP, CFEI, CFII, writes on Fire Testing.
Small scale testing, also referred to as bench scale testing, can show how a small-sized material specimen reacts to various failure modes and/or incipient fire situations. Flammability and fire retardancy on a comparative basis may be of interest, or conformance with specific ASTM testing requirements. Medium and large scale testing, however, may be warranted for data development. With the use of sophisticated data acquisition systems and equipment involving radiometers, thermocouples, infrared thermal imaging cameras, oxygen depletion sensors, Intermediate Scale Calorimeters (ICAL) and other similar devices, BG&S can provide the needed foundational basis for applying the scientific method in the investigative process as called for by NFPA 921.