Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
There are two major fire processes, an understanding of which is essential for effective fire safety design: (1) the conditions under which a combustible material may become involved in flaming combustion, and (2) the rate at which such a material, once involved, will provide an output of heat, smoke, toxic gases, etc., which can endanger people and property. The first process may be regarded as covering both ignition and spread of fire on materials; its complement is the way in which fire may become extinguished. It is necessary for such processes to bring in a characteristic of the basic combustion reaction which, directly or indirectly, expresses the reactivity of the combustion process. Thus pilot ignition is usually associated with an approximate surface fuel temperature. More basically, it is associated with a critical flow rate of volatiles and a critical heat loss from the flame, the latter being influenced by ambient oxygen and temperatures conditions as well as heat lost and gained by the fuel itself. The most important factor governing the production of dangerous product is the rate at which volatiles first (fuel controlled fires) and later air (air controlled fires) are fed into the flames. The reactivity is of less importance, although it may be one of the factors which control combustion efficiency. In general, the more efficient is the combustion the more heat is produced, but the less smoke and toxic gases are produced. Some of the main advances in the above areas are reviewed in this paper.
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