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Experimental study of radiative heat transfer in a translucent fuel sample exposed to different spectral sources



Gregory T. Linteris, Nicolas Ball, J. Raynard, Guillermo Rein, Jose L. Torero, M. Forsth, P. Boulet, G. Parent, Z. Acem


Radiative heat transfer to a solid is a key mechanism in fire dynamics, and in-depth absorption is especially of importance for translucent fuels. The sample-heater interaction for radiative heat transfer is experimentally investigated in this study with two different heaters (electric resistance and tungsten lamp) using clear PolyMethylMethAcrylate (PMMA) samples from two different formulations (Plexiglass and Lucite). First, the significant effects of the heater type and operating temperature on the radiative heat transfer are revealed with broadband measurements of transmittance on samples of different thicknesses. Then, the attenuation coefficient in Beer–Lambert’s law has been calculated from detailed spectral measurements over the full wavelength range encountered in real fires. The measurements present large spectral heterogeneity. These experimental results and calculation of in- depth absorption are used to explain the reason behind the apparent variation of the fuel absorbance with the sample thickness observed in past studies. The measurement of the spectral intensity emitted by the heaters verifies that the common assumption of blackbody behavior is correct for the electric resistance, whereas the tungsten lamp does not even behave as a greybody. This investigation proofs the necessity of a multi-band radiation model to calculate accurately the fire radiative heat transfer which affects directly the in-depth temperature profiles and hence the pyrolysis process for translucent fuel.
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer


Radiation, PMMA, absorbance, attenuation, spectral dependence.


Linteris, G. , Ball, N. , Raynard, J. , , G. , Torero, J. , , M. , Boulet, P. , Parent, G. and , Z. (2013), Experimental study of radiative heat transfer in a translucent fuel sample exposed to different spectral sources, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, [online], (Accessed July 21, 2024)


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Created June 28, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017