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A test method for measuring the minimum concentration to support an intraluminal flame is described. An oxidizer is flowed through a plastic tube, and an ignition source is applied to the free end of the tube. If the oxygen concentration is sufficient, a flame propagates along the inner surface of the tube, termed an intraluminal flame. The minimum concentration of oxygen, or limiting oxygen index (LOI), that will support such a flame is determined. Results are reported for polyvinyl chloride tubing and compared to those using the standard ASTM D 2863, the candle-type flammability test. In the intraluminal test, the LOI with helium as the diluent gas is lower than that with nitrogen as the diluent, in contrast to results using ASTM D 2863. The effects of buoyancy are reduced in the intraluminal test, and the results may therefore be more applicable to low gravity environments.
Flame spread, oxygen index, polyvinyl chloride, combustion, endotracheal tube fires, microgravity
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY
Cooper Union Masters degree recipient, Currently with the Brooklyn Union Gas Company, Brooklyn, NY
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, State University of New York, Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY