Volume 3, Issue 3 (March 2006)

    Ignition of Combustion Modified Polyurethane Foam

    (Received 21 October 2005; accepted 19 December 2005)

    Published Online: 2006


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    Results are presented from an experimental study on the ignition of the combustion modified (fire retarded) polyurethane foam Pyrell® (35.3 kg/m3 and 64.0 kg/m3) in elevated oxygen concentrations, ranging from 30 % to 60 %. The samples are exposed to an external flow and variable radiant heat flux on one face, and insulated on the other faces. The experiments show that Pyrell® undergoes a weak smoldering reaction that requires significant assistance in the form of external heat input in order to propagate. The results also show that given sufficient oxygen and radiant heat flux, the smoldering reaction can produce enough volatile fuel and heat to trigger a gas-phase ignition, i.e. a transition from smoldering to flaming, in pores in the char region. The experiments also indicate that high-density Pyrell® is more ignitable than low-density Pyrell®, which could be explained by the greater solid surface area for smoldering reactions to take place.

    Author Information:

    Putzeys, OM
    Graduate Student Researcher, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

    Carlos Fernandez-Pello, A
    Professor, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

    Urban, DL
    Chief, Combustion and Reacting Systems, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

    Stock #: JAI13558

    ISSN: 1546-962X

    DOI: 10.1520/JAI13558

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    Title Ignition of Combustion Modified Polyurethane Foam
    Symposium Flammability and Sensitivity of Materials in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres, 2006-10-20
    Committee G04