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Prediction of the gasification rate of thermoplastic polymers in fire-like environments



Gregory T. Linteris, Richard E. Lyon, Stanislav Stoliarov


The present work explores the extent to which the time-dependent mass loss rate of three common thermoplastics, PP, PA66, POM, and PET when exposed to pure radiant heat flux, can be predicted from first principles. The material properties which control the mass loss, and are required for input to the numerical models, are measured in independent laboratory tests, and presented. The time-dependent mass loss rate for each polymer is measured in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) gasification device and predicted using two numerical models for pyrolysis: the NIST Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) model ThermaKin. The models gave results in very close agreement with each other, and in good agreement with those of the experiments for most of the burning period. Parameteric analyses are used to explore the influence of each measured parameter on the mass loss rate and the agreement between modeling and the experiments, and explain discrepancies between the modeling and experiment when they exist.
Fire Safety Journal


materials flammability, gasification, cone calorimetry, pyrolysis model, Fire Dynamics Simulator, ThermaKin


Linteris, G. , Lyon, R. and Stoliarov, S. (2013), Prediction of the gasification rate of thermoplastic polymers in fire-like environments, Fire Safety Journal, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created August 1, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018