Flame spread over a fire resistant fabric under external heating

Maria Thomsen, Xinyan Huang, Alain Alonso, Carlos Fernandez-Pello, David L. Urban, Gary A. Ruff

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Fire resistant materials are clearly preferred for fire-risk applications but their flammability is usually tested under very specific conditions that might not represent the real fire situation. In this work, we investigate the effect of ambient pressure and oxygen concentration on the upward flame spread over Nomex HT90-40 exposed to two different external heat sources. One is the radiation from infrared lamps and the other is the flame from a burning polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) sheet placed below the fabric. The limiting oxygen concentration (LOC) was first quantified under different external heating, and then the upward flame-spread rate above LOC was measured. Experiments show that the flame from nearby burning object not only can ignite the fire resistant fabric, but also extend the LOC of the material to lower oxygen concentrations. Moreover, the heating from the attached flame is different from an external radiant flux. The results of this work also provide important information about the fire interactions of different materials, and guide the future fire safety design in space exploration.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2017
Event10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting - College Park, United States
Duration: 23 Apr 201726 Apr 2017


Conference10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCollege Park


  • External heating
  • Fire resistant
  • Flame Spread


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