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    Evaluation of Containment Boxes as a Fire Mitigation Method in Elevated Oxygen Conditions

    Published: 2016

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    NASA performed testing to evaluate the efficacy of fire containment boxes without forced ventilation. Configurational flammability testing was performed on a simulation avionics box replicating critical design features and filled with materials possessing representative flammability characteristics. This paper discusses the box's ability, under simulated end-use conditions, to inhibit the propagation of combustion to surrounding materials. Analysis was also performed to evaluate the potential for the fire containment box to serve as an overheat/ignition source to temperature sensitive equipment (such as items with lithium-ion batteries). Unrealistically severe combustion scenarios were used as a means to better understand the fire containment mechanism. These scenarios were achieved by utilizing materials/fuels not typically used in space vehicles due to flammability concerns. Oxygen depletion, during combustion within the fire containment boxes, drove self-extinguishment and proved an effective method of fire containment.


    avionics box, configuration flammability, gaseous oxygen, liquid solvents, volatility

    Author Information:

    Juarez, Alfredo
    Jacobs Engineering, White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM

    Harper, Susana A.
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, White Sands Test Facility/RF111, Las Cruces, NM

    Perez, Horacio
    Materials and Processing, Lockheed Martin, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

    Committee/Subcommittee: G04.92

    DOI: 10.1520/STP159620150079