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ASTM Selected Technical Papers
Fire Standards and Safety
By
AF Robertson
AF Robertson
1
National Bureau of Standards
,
editor
Search for other works by this author on:
ISBN-10:
0-8031-0352-2
ISBN:
978-0-8031-0352-8
No. of Pages:
332
Publisher:
ASTM International
Publication date:
1976

The characterization of fire atmospheres is discussed. A complete description would require more than 1017 measurements. This is beyond present capabilities, but the requirements could be reduced by separating the problem into three regimes, each characterized by a minimum volume-time (v, t) increment. They are: (a) overall fire atmospheres (v = 1 m3, t = 10 s) for hazard and detection, (b) fire plumes (v = 10−6 m3, t = 10−1 s) for heat transfer and fire propagation, and (c) flames (v = 10−15 m3, t = 10−4 s) for microscopic and molecular combustion processes. By systematically applying these characterizations to the regions where they are required, the data base can be reduced to 106 measurements for a typical small fire. This is feasible with present technology. However, the application would require a substantial investment in facilities and the development of sampling and analytical technique. Some sampling and analytical problems associated with characterizing fire atmospheres are discussed. The current status is illustrated using several recent studies.

1.
Fristrom
,
R.
, “
Flame Sampling for Mass Spectrometry
,”
International Journal of Mass Spectra and Ion Physics
, Vol.
14
, No.
15
,
1974
.
2.
Petajan
,
J.
,
Voorhees
,
K.
,
Packham
,
S.
,
Baldwin
,
R.
,
Einhorn
,
I.
,
Grunnet
,
M.
,
Dinger
,
B.
, and
Birkey
,
M.
, “
Extreme Toxicity from Combustion Products of a Fire Retarded Polyurethane Foam
,”
Science
 1095-9203, Vol.
187
, No.
743
,
1975
.
3.
Autian
,
J.
, “
Toxicologic Aspects of Flammability and Combustion of Polymeric Materials
,”
University of Utah Conference
,
College of Engineering
,
Salt Lake City, Utah
,
1970
.
4.
Wagner
,
J.
, “
Survey of Toxic Species Evolved in Pyrolysis and Combustion of Polymers
,”
Fire Research Abstracts and Reviews
, Vol.
14
, No.
1
,
1972
.
5.
Fristrom
,
R.
, “
Probe Measurements in Laminar Combustion Systems
,”
Project Squid Workshop on Combustion Measurements
,
Purdue University
, West Lafayette, Ind., 1975.
Fire Research Abstract and Reviews
, Vol.
16
,
1974
.
6.
Bilger
,
R.
, “
Probe Measurements in Turbulent Combustion
,” Report PURDU-CL-75-2, the
Combustion Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University
, West Lafayette, Ind.,
1975
.
7.
Sawyer
,
R.
, “
Experimental Studies of Chemical Processes in a Model Gas Turbine Combustor
,”
Emissions
,
Cornelius
W.
and
Agnes
W.
, ed.,
Plenum Press
,
New York
,
1972
.
8.
Firstrom
,
R.
and
Westenberg
,
A.
,
Flame Structure
,
McGraw Hill
,
New York
,
1965
.
9.
Tinè
,
G.
,
Gas Sampling and Chemical Analysis
,
Pergamon Press
,
New York
,
1961
.
10.
Croce
,
P. A.
, “
A Method For Improved Measurement of Gas Concentration Histories in Rapidly Developing Fires
,” FMRC #21011.3 
Factory Mutual Corp.
,
Norwood, Mass.
,
1975
.
11.
Birkey
,
M.
, private communication.
12.
Liebman
,
S. A.
,
Ahlstrom
,
D.
, and
Sanders
,
C.
, “
Automatic Concentrator Gas Chromatographic System
,”
American Laboratory
, Vol.
7
, No.
9
, 195.
13.
Larsen
,
D.
,
Rony
,
P.
, and
Titus
,
J.
, “
The Structure of a Microcomputer
,”
American Laboratory
, Vol.
7
, No.
10
,
1975
.
14.
Zinn
,
B.
, “
Combustion Products from Building Fires
,”
Proceedings
,
National Science Foundation/Research Applied to National Needs Conference on Fire Research at Georgia Institute of Technology
,
School of Aerospace Engineering
,
Atlanta, Ga.
,
1974
.
15.
Birkey
,
M.
, “
Physiological and Toxicological Effects of the Products of Thermal Decomposition of Polymeric Materials
,”
NBS Special Publication
 #411,
National Bureau of Standards
,
Washington, D.C.
,
1974
.
16.
Robison
,
M.
,
Wagner
,
P.
,
Fristrom
,
R.
, and
Schulz
,
A.
, “
The Accumulation of Gases on an Upper Floor During Fire Build-up
,”
Fire Technology
 0015-2684, Vol.
8
, No.
278
,
1972
.
17.
Alger
,
R.
, “
A Mobile Field Laboratory for Fires of Opportunity
,” NOLTR 73-87 
Naval Ordinance Laboratory
,
White Oak, Silver Spring, Md.
,
1973
.
18.
Fenimore
,
C.
,
Chemistry in Premixed Flames
,
Pergamon Press
,
New York
,
1964
.
19.
Fenimore
,
C.
and
Martin
,
F.
, “
Burning of Polymers
,”
Mechanisms of Pyrolysis, Oxodation and Burning of Organic Materials
,
Wall
L.
, Ed.,
4th Materials Research Symposium
,
National Bureau of Standards
,
Washington, D.C.
,
1970
.
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