The fire resistance of phosphate esters is primarily a result of properties imparted by the phosphate nucleus. These properties make triaryl phosphate esters difficult to ignite and cause them to self-extinguish. Fluid fire resistance is a function of different chemical and/or physical characteristics depending on fire test configuration. Studies performed on phosphate esters for flame retardant and fire extinguishing applications provide useful analogies to fluid fire resistance. The soaked cube fire test predicts the oxidation exotherm temperature of a fluid on steam pipe lagging. The impact of fluid properties on the decomposition and ignition temperature is discussed. A simple extension of the fire point test was used to illustrate the fire resistance of various phosphate ester/polyol ester mixtures. The transition to a self-extinguishing mixture occurs over a narrow phosphate ester concentration range.
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