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Understanding the Hazards of Grouped Electrical Cables



Kevin B. McGrattan, Andrew J. Lock, Nathan D. Marsh, Marc R. Nyden, Jason Dreisbach, David Stroup


CHRISTIFIRE (Cable Heat Release, Ignition, and Spread in Tray Installations during FIRE) is a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of Research program to quantify the mass and energy released from burning electrical cables. This type of quantitative information will be used to develop more realistic models of cable fires for use in fire probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) analyses. The experimental program has two main thrusts—bench-scale measurements of small samples of burning cables and full-scale measurements of the heat release and fire-spread rates of cables burning within typical ladder-type trays. The bench-scale measurements include micro-calorimetry of cable components, effluent characterization using absorption spectroscopy, and measurements of the heat release rate using a cone calorimeter. The full-scale measurements include the burning of a variety of cables within a typical tray under radiant panel heating, and full-scale, multiple tray fires. The outcome of the experiments is to be used by a variety of fire models, ranging from simple correlations to computational fluid dynamics.
Proceedings Title
14th International Heat Transfer Conference
Conference Dates
August 8-13, 2010
Conference Location
Washington, DC


electrical cables, fire experiments


McGrattan, K. , Lock, A. , Marsh, N. , Nyden, M. , Dreisbach, J. and Stroup, D. (2010), Understanding the Hazards of Grouped Electrical Cables, 14th International Heat Transfer Conference, Washington, DC, [online], (Accessed March 4, 2024)
Created August 8, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017