Behavior of Charring Materials in Simulated Fire Environments. Final Project Report. 1990-1992.
Behavior of Charring Materials in Simulated Fire
Environments. Final Project Report. 1990-1992.
Suuberg, E. M.; Milosavljevic, I.; Lilly, W. D.
NIST GCR 94-645; 651 p. June 1994.
Sponsor:National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Available from: National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB94-196045
char; cellulose; cellulosic materials; char depth; fire
research; model studies; pyrolysis
The focus of this study was the behavior of thick
charring solids in fire situations. Clearly one of the
most important parameters governing the fire phenomenon
is the rate of release of combustible volatiles into the
gas phase, in which they actually burn. Over the years,
fire researchers have learned how to model the processes
in the gas phase, so that the rate of heat feedback to
the solid surface can be reasonably well predicted.
Likewise, there exists the ability to model the heat
transfer processes at the solid surface and within the
solid itself. Finally, there is a large literature on
the laboratory-scale pyrolysis of various charring
polymers. It might appear that predicting the course of
the fire would involve carefully coupling these
different models together. There have unfortunately not
been any successful demonstrations of the ability to do
this, though in broad stroke, some models capture the
key features of the processes. This study was concerned
with the possibility that the inability to come to
complete closure on the charring polymer fire problem
might derive from difficulties in applying laboratory
scale kinetics to actual fire conditions. Specifically,
we were concerned about how well small scale laboratory
experiments used to derive the kinetics of pyrolysis
could be used to predict the behavior of charring solids
in fire situations.