Flame spread over electrical wire with various oxygen concentrations

Xinyan Huang, Yuji Nakamura, Forman A. Williams

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Flame spread over thin electrical wire under different oxygen concentration has been investigated both theoretically and experimentally to gain a better understanding of electrical fires in various atmospheric environments. A simplified flame-spread model is developed to identify the effects of wire configuration, thermal conductivity and oxygen concentration on spread rate. Two kinds of sample wires, made of nickel-chrome and copper as the metal core, with different configurations are adopted in this study. The environmental oxygen concentration is changed from 21% to 80% under two cases: A fixed total pressure of 1 atm and a fixed oxygen partial pressure of 21 kPa. Experimental results show that in either case the flame spread rate monotonically increases with oxygen concentration. The difference of spread rates between these two wires depends on both the wire configuration and thermal conductivity. For the wire with the smaller diameter and higher thermal conductance, the flame spread rate is large. As the oxygen concentration increases, the flame becomes brighter and wider and the dripping condition of molten polymer will also change. Also, the comparison of two cases shows that the spread varies sightly with the environmental pressure changes. The experimental results agree well with the model predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWestern States Section of the Combustion Institute Spring Technical Meeting 2012
PublisherWestern States Section/Combustion Institute
Pages276-288
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781622761241
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventWestern States Section of the Combustion Institute Spring Technical Meeting 2012 - Tempe, United States
Duration: 19 Mar 201220 Mar 2012

Publication series

NameWestern States Section of the Combustion Institute Spring Technical Meeting 2012

Conference

ConferenceWestern States Section of the Combustion Institute Spring Technical Meeting 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityTempe
Period19/03/1220/03/12

Keywords

  • Electric wire fire
  • Flame spread
  • Oxygen concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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