A Methodology for Flammability Diagrams
Quintiere, James G
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The current state of fire safety regulations in the United States Department of Transportation is examined, along with some of the associated flammability test methods. The applicability and overall usefulness of these tests is evaluated along with their ability to accurately capture and describe fire performance. Theoretical relationships are shown for the fire phenomena ignition, energy release and flame spread in terms of incident flux to demonstrate the ability to extract meaningful data from calorimetry and flame spread tests. This is done for sample materials to obtain a general overview of their fire performance. This general overview is presented in the form of a Flammability Diagram. A Flammability Diagram is a single plot showing the energy release rate, time to ignition and flame spread rates for a material all as a function of the incident heat flux. Effects of melting, dripping, thickness, sooting and other factors may not be fully described, but the experimental framework captures the overall result of such effects. This study shows the feasibility of developing a measurement methodology that can be followed for the creation of Flammability Diagrams, providing a clear picture of a material's fire performance.