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Influence of Surface Silica on the Pyrolysis of Silicones (NISTIR 6242)



R R. Buch, John R. Shields, Takashi Kashiwagi, Thomas Cleary, Kenneth D. Steckler


Silicones encompass a wide variety of noval materials that find applications in virtually every major industry sector. The dominant polymer in the silicone industry is polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The combustion of long chain PDMS exhibits a low heat release rate and the unique characteristic that the heat release rate does not increase significantly with an increase in external applied thermal radiant flux or pool size. The deposition of amorphous silica ash (a major combustion product of silicones) on the fuel surface is believed to play a significant role in mediating the fuel formation rate of silicones in fire scenarios. The objective of this study was to document and quantify the influence of surface silica on the pryolysis rates of PDMS. For this study, the gasification apparatus developed at NIST-BFRL by Steckler and others was used.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6242
Report Number


fire research, fire science, fire suppression, silicones, silica, pyrolysis


Buch, R. , Shields, J. , Kashiwagi, T. , Cleary, T. and Steckler, K. (1998), Influence of Surface Silica on the Pyrolysis of Silicones (NISTIR 6242), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created September 30, 1998, Updated October 12, 2021