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A Flame Model for Melting and Dripping Polymers



Kathryn M. Butler, Sergio R. Idelsohn, Julio M. Marti, Eugenio Onate, Riccardo Rossi


The versatility of polymeric materials, as demonstrated in such features as high strength, low weight, ease of processing, and capability to form into complex shapes, have led to their widespread industrial application in aircraft structures, transportation vehicles, building and highway construction, maintenance and finishing products, electronic boards, bioengineering, structural materials, and many other different applications. Their behavior in fire is of considerable interest because they play an important role in the ignition and growth stages of fire. In this paper, a new computational procedure for analysis of the combustion, melting and flame spread of polymers under fire conditions is presented. The method places the fluid as well as the solid problem into a Lagrangian framework. This approach allows treatment of the whole domain, containing both fluid and solid subdomains which interact with each other, as a single entity and describes its behaviour by a single set of momentum, continuity and energy equations. The equations are discretized with the Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM). In this paper, the basis of the PFEM is summarized. The essential governing equations and an overview of the discretization procedure and the general solution scheme are given. The potential of the PFEM to represent flaming combustion of polymers is shown in examples.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 2010 Interflam Conference
Conference Dates
July 5-7, 2010
Conference Location
Conference Title
Interflam 2010


flame model, burning thermoplastic materials, Particle Finite Element Method


Butler, K. , Idelsohn, S. , Marti, J. , Onate, E. and Rossi, R. (2010), A Flame Model for Melting and Dripping Polymers, Proceedings of the 2010 Interflam Conference, Nottingham, -1, [online], (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created July 4, 2010, Updated August 26, 2020