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Signatures of Smoldering/Pyrolyzing Fires for Multi-Element Detector Evaluation



Thomas G. Cleary, William L. Grosshandler, Marc R. Nyden, William J. Rinkinen


Levels of CO, CO2, H2O, hydrocarbons, smoke, temperature and velocity produced in the plumes of smoldering/pyrolyzing wood and smoldering cotton fires are reported, following test protocols described for evaluating automatic fire detection systems. The repeatability of the wood fires is high, but the smoldering cotton results can vary considerably depending upon the exact configuration of the fuel. The water vapor builds up most quickly in both fires, with CO and CO2 growing more slowly in volume fraction but at a close to constant ratio. Temperatures increase steadily on the plume centerline, and the vertical velocities correlate rougly with the square root of the difference in plume and surrounding temperatures. The data are compared to previous results, and a method for using these measurements to evaluate multi-criteria fire detection systems is proposed.
Proceedings Title
Interflam '96. International Interflam Conference, 7th Proceedings
Conference Dates
March 26-28, 1996
Conference Location


fire safety, fire suppression, fire detection, fire signatures, smoldering, test fires


Cleary, T. , Grosshandler, W. , Nyden, M. and Rinkinen, W. (1996), Signatures of Smoldering/Pyrolyzing Fires for Multi-Element Detector Evaluation, Interflam '96. International Interflam Conference, 7th Proceedings, Cambridge, , [online], (Accessed July 15, 2024)


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Created March 26, 1996, Updated February 19, 2017