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Signatures of Smoldering/Pyrolyzing Fires for Multi-Element Detector Evaluation.

pdf icon Signatures of Smoldering/Pyrolyzing Fires for Multi-Element Detector Evaluation. (489 K)
Cleary, T. G.; Grosshandler, W. L.; Nyden, M. R.; Rinkinen, W. J.

Interscience Communications Ltd.; National Institute of Standards and Technology; Building Research Establishment; and Society of Fire Protection Engineers; Swedish National Testing and Research Institute. Interflam '96. International Interflam Conference, 7th Proceedings. March 26-28, 1996, Cambridge, England, Interscience Communications Ltd., London, England, Franks, C. A.; Grayson, S., Editor(s)(s), 497-506 pp, 1996.


fire safety; fire suppression; fire detection; fire signatures; smoldering; test fires


Levels of CO, CO2, H2O, hydrocarbons, smoke, temperature and velocity produced in the plumes of smoldering/pyrolyzing wood and smoldering cotton fires are reported, following test protocols described for evaluating automatic fire detection systems. The repeatability of the wood fires is high, but the smoldering cotton results can vary considerably depending upon the exact configuration of the fuel. The water vapor builds up most quickly in both fires, with CO and CO2 growing more slowly in volume fraction but at a close to constant ratio. Temperatures increase steadily on the plume centerline, and the vertical velocities correlate rougly with the square root of the difference in plume and surrounding temperatures. The data are compared to previous results, and a method for using these measurements to evaluate multi-criteria fire detection systems is proposed.