Bench scale tests on controlling plastic fires with water mists

Wan Ki Chow, J. Qin, S. S. Han

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Bench scale tests are proposed to study the performance of a water mist fire suppression system on plastic fires. The effects of water mist on burning solid polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and polyvinylchloride (PVC) are compared with a cone calorimeter. A scaled nozzle developed earlier for discharging water mist in a cone calorimeter was used. Operating pressures of 0.2-0.7 MPa, corresponding to water flow rates of 68 mL/min and 134 mL/min, were used. It was observed that PMMA samples could be ignited easily and liberated significant amounts of heat at high release rates. PVC was more difficult to ignite, but gave out large quantities of smoke. Discharging water to both did not increase the heat release rate significantly. However, both smoke quantity and carbon monoxide concentration increased. This was more obvious for PMMA fires. Hazard assessment parameters for thermal aspects and smoke were measured and presented as a 'hazard diagram' to understand the action of water mist and the potential for re-ignition. It is suggested that bench scale tests can also give useful results for designing water mist systems. The discharging time of water mist is a key factor in controlling PMMA fires. If the discharging time is not long enough, re-ignition might occur once the discharging of water stops. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1047
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering and Technology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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