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A model of smoldering combustion applied to flexible polyurethane foams

Ohlemiller, T. J. and Bellan, J. and Rogers, F. (1979) A model of smoldering combustion applied to flexible polyurethane foams. Combustion and Flame, 36 . pp. 197-215. ISSN 0010-2180. doi:10.1016/0010-2180(79)90060-9.

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Smoldering combustion, particularly in upholstery and bedding materials, has been proven a serious life hazard. The simplest representation of this hazard situation is one-dimensional downward propagation of a smolder wave against a buoyant upflow (cocurrent smolder); the configuration treated here is identical in all respects to this except for the presence of a forced flow replacing the buoyant one. The complex degradation chemistry of the polyurethanes is here reduced to the two major overall reactions of char formation and char oxidation. The model solutions, which are in reasonable agreement with experimental results, show the smolder process to be oxygen-limited, which leads to some very simple trends. More subtle behavior aspects determine actual propagation velocity, fraction of fuel consumed, and apparent equivalence ratio (all of which are variable). The self-insulating character of the smolder wave makes it viable in a wide-ranging set of conditions if the igniting stimulus is sufficiently long. These results have significant implications regarding the problem of smolder prevention or hindrance.

Item Type:Article
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Bellan, J.0000-0001-9218-7017
Additional Information:© 1979 Elsevier Inc. Received 9 June 1978, Revised 25 March 1979. Work sponsored by the National Bureau of Standards, grant No. 4-9026.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Bureau of Standards4-9026
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171019-160247129
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Official Citation:T.J. Ohlemiller, J. Bellan, F. Rogers, A model of smoldering combustion applied to flexible polyurethane foams, In Combustion and Flame, Volume 36, 1979, Pages 197-215, ISSN 0010-2180, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:82529
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Oct 2017 17:09
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:51

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