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Burning Behavior of Selected Automotive Parts From a Minivan.



Thomas J. Ohlemiller, John R. Shields


Selected functional parts from a minivan were subjected to a gas flame ignition source and burned in a manner that allowed measurement of the resulting total heat release rate, mass loss and heat fluxes to the surroundings. This study was undertaken to: (1) assess a possible means for determining the flammability characteristics of automotive components, (2) obtain data on the range of flammability behavior exhibited by such components and the physical processes underlying that behavior, and (3) obtain insights into the fire behavior seen in related full-scale vehicle fires. for most of the vehicle components examined in this study, a significant aspect of the burn behavior was the development of this pool fire and revealed a strong influence on the fire intensity. Other parts exhibited a wide variety of behavior influenced not only by their constituent polymer resins but also by their shapes, sizes and internal structures.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6143
Report Number


motor vehicle fires, combustion, ignition source, heat release rate, mass loss, heat flux, flammability, fire behavior


Ohlemiller, T. and Shields, J. (1998), Burning Behavior of Selected Automotive Parts From a Minivan., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created August 1, 1998, Updated November 10, 2018