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An ignition criterion for combustible solids integrating surface temperature and heating rate

Authors

  • Ning Tian,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Engineering Technology and Construction Management, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
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  • Aixi Zhou

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Engineering Technology and Construction Management, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
    • Correspondence to: Aixi Zhou, Department of Engineering Technology and Construction Management, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223, USA.

      E-mail: aixi.zhou@uncc.edu

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Summary

Surface ignition temperature has been widely used as an ignition criterion for the piloted ignition of common combustible solids. However, experimental observations have shown that the surface temperature of a solid at ignition varies with external heat flux. In addition, if the external heat flux is smaller than the critical heat flux for ignition, the solid will not ignite while the actual surface temperature may be higher than the defined surface ignition temperature. To overcome these limitations and maintain the simplicity of the surface ignition temperature criterion, a new ignition criterion integrating heating rate and surface temperature is proposed, developed, and validated. Predictions based on the new criterion compare well with experimental results on piloted ignition of a thermoplastic material (black PMMA), a thermoset composite material (E-glass fiber reinforced polyester composite) and a cellulosic material (Red Oak) subjected to different heat flux levels. Potential factors affecting the accuracy and predictive capability of the new heating rate-related ignition temperature criterion are discussed. The method and associated procedures to construct the heating rate-related temperature ignition criterion can be used to obtain the same ignition criterion for other combustible solids. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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