Advertisement

Fire Technology

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 71–89 | Cite as

Opposed Flame Spread over Cylindrical PMMA Under Oxygen-Enriched Microgravity Environment

  • Chuanjia Wu
  • Xinyan Huang
  • Shuangfeng WangEmail author
  • Feng Zhu
  • Yongli Yin
Article

Abstract

The enriched oxygen ambient may be applied to China’s next generation space station. To understand the fire behaviors under oxygen-enriched microgravity environment, flame-spread experiments on extruded poly(methyl)methacrylate (PMMA) rods with 10-mm diameter were conducted in the SJ-10 Satellite. The opposed flame-spread behaviors were studied at the oxygen-enriched ambient (33.5% and 49.4%) under low flow velocities in the range of 0 to 12 cm/s. After the ignition in the middle of the sample, an opposed flame spread was achieved, rather than the forward flame spread. The flame-spread rate increases with the opposed flow velocity, due to the decreased flame width and the enhanced flame heat flux. Moreover, a blue flame sheet with a frequent burst of bubbles is found throughout the opposed-flow spread process, showing a near extinction behavior. For the oxygen concentration above 25%, normal-gravity experiments suggest that whether PMMA is cast or extruded should have a negligible effect on the opposed flame spread in microgravity. Compared to normal gravity, the microgravity flame spread rate in the oxygen-enriched atmosphere is slower which is the order of 0.1 mm/s, only one-tenth to one-fifth of that in normal gravity at the same nominal opposed flow velocity, and the acceleration of flame spread in microgravity by increasing oxygen concentration is also much smaller. This result suggests that (1) if the environmental gas flow is small, the fire hazard increased by raising oxygen level in microgravity space cabin can be much smaller than that on Earth; and (2) the fire risk of oxygen-enriched microgravity environment might be overestimated when a ground-based test method is employed to evaluate the burning characteristics of solid material.

Keywords

Spacecraft fire safety Blue flame Cast and extruded PMMA Thermally-thick fuel Extinction 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. U1738117), Strategic Pioneer Program on Space Science of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant Nos. XDA04020410, XDA04020202-10).

Supplementary material

10694_2019_896_MOESM1_ESM.avi (13.9 mb)
Video 1-1: SJ-10 Satellite Microgravity experiment on the ignition and flame spread over extruded PMMA rod (10-mm diameter) under X=33.5% and opposed flow of 12, 9, and 6 cm/s (AVI 14233 kb)
10694_2019_896_MOESM2_ESM.avi (11.3 mb)
Video 1-2: SJ-10 Satellite Microgravity experiment on the ignition and flame spread over extruded PMMA rod (10-mm diameter) under X=49.4% and opposed flow of 12, 9, and 6 cm/s (AVI 11568 kb)
10694_2019_896_MOESM3_ESM.avi (4 mb)
Video 2-1: Normal-gravity experiment on flame spread over extruded PMMA rod (10-mm diameter) under X=33% and opposed flow of 9 cm/s (AVI 4124 kb)
10694_2019_896_MOESM4_ESM.avi (1.7 mb)
Video 2-2: Normal-gravity experiment on flame spread over extruded PMMA rod (10-mm diameter) under X=33% and opposed flow of 6 cm/s (AVI 1783 kb)
10694_2019_896_MOESM5_ESM.avi (1.4 mb)
Video 2-3: Normal-gravity experiment on flame spread over extruded PMMA rod (10-mm diameter) under X=33% and opposed flow of 3 cm/s (AVI 1386 kb)
10694_2019_896_MOESM6_ESM.avi (3.5 mb)
Video 3-1: Normal-gravity experiment on flame spread over extruded PMMA rod (10-mm diameter) under X=21% and opposed flow of 3 cm/s (AVI 3606 kb)
10694_2019_896_MOESM7_ESM.avi (3.1 mb)
Video 3-2: Normal-gravity experiment on flame spread over extruded PMMA rod (10-mm diameter) under X=25% and opposed flow of 3 cm/s (AVI 3155 kb)
10694_2019_896_MOESM8_ESM.avi (1.8 mb)
Video 3-3: Normal-gravity experiment on flame spread over extruded PMMA rod (10-mm diameter) under X=33% and opposed flow of 12 cm/s (AVI 1844 kb)
10694_2019_896_MOESM9_ESM.avi (1.1 mb)
Video 3-4: Normal-gravity experiment on flame spread over extruded PMMA rod (10-mm diameter) under X=49% and opposed flow of 3 cm/s (AVI 1090 kb)

References

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Urban DL, Ferkul P, Olson S et al (2018) Flame spread : effects of microgravity and scale. Combust Flame 199:1–22.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2018.10.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Thomsen M, Huang X, Fernandez-Pello C et al (2019) Concurrent flame spread over externally heated Nomex under mixed convection flow. Proc Combust Inst 37:3801–3808.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2018.05.055 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ferkul PV, Bhattacharjee S, Fernandez-pello C et al (2014) Combustion of solids in microgravity: results from the BASS-II experimentGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Link S, Huang X, Fernandez-Pello C et al (2018) The effect of gravity on flame spread over PMMA cylinders. Sci Rep 8:120.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-18398-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Olson SL, Ferkul PV (2017) Microgravity flammability boundary for PMMA rods in axial stagnation flow: experimental results and energy balance analyses. Combust Flame 180:217–229.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2017.03.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    ASTM (2010) Standard test method for measuring the minimum oxygen concentration to support candle-like combustion of plastics (Oxygen Index)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fujita O (2015) Solid combustion research in microgravity as a basis of fire safety in space. Proc Combust Inst 35:2487–2502.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2014.08.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fernandez-Pello AC, Ray SR, Glassman I (1978) Downward flame spread in an opposed forced flow. Combust Sci Technol 19:19–30.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00102207808946860 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sibulkjn M, Lee CK (1974) Flame propagation measurements and energy feedback analysis for burning cylinders. Combust Sci Technol 9:137–147.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00102207408960349 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Higuera FJ, Liñán A (1999) Flame spread along a fuel rod in the absence of gravity. Combust Theory Model 3:259–265.  https://doi.org/10.1088/1364-7830/3/2/003 CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Delichatsios MA, Altenkirch RA, Bundy MF et al (2000) Creeping flame spread along fuel cylinders in forced and natural flows and microgravity. Proc Combust Inst 28:2835–2842.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0082-0784(00)80706-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tarifa CS, Corchero G, Juste GL (1988) An experimental programme on flame spreading at reduced gravity conditions. Appl Microgravity Technol I:165–169Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Salva JJ, Juste GL (1991) Gravitational effects on flame spreading over thin cylindrical fuel samples. Microgravity Sci Technol 4:191–198Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Huang X, Link S, Rodriguez A et al (2019) Transition from opposed flame spread to fuel regression and blow off: effect of flow, atmosphere, and microgravity. Proc Combust Inst 37:4117–4126.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2018.06.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kobayashi Y, Terashima K, bin Borhan MAF, Takahashi S (2019) Opposed flame spread over polyethylene under variable flow velocity and oxygen concentration in microgravity. Fire Technol.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10694-019-00862-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nakamura Y, Kizawa K, Mizuguchi S et al (2016) Experimental study on near-limiting burning behavior of thermoplastic materials with various thicknesses under candle-like burning configuration. Fire Technol 52:1–25.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10694-016-0567-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Williams FA (1977) Mechanisms of fire spread. Symp Combust 16:1281–1294.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0082-0784(77)80415-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kobayashi Y, Huang X, Nakaya S et al (2017) Flame spread over wires: the role of dripping and core. Fire Saf J 91:112–122.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2017.03.047 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kobayashi Y, Konno Y, Huang X et al (2018) Effect of insulation melting and dripping on opposed flame spread over laboratory simulated electrical wires. Fire Saf J 95:1–10.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2017.10.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nakamura Y, Azumaya K, Ito H, Fujita O (2009) Flame spread over electric wire in space environment: steady or unsteady? In: Kozo Saito, Ito A, Nakamura Y, Kuwana K (eds) Proceedings of 27th international symposium on space technology and science. Springer, Tsukuba, JapanGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Takeuchi H, Fujita O, Nakamura Y et al (2012) Study on unsteady molten insulation volume change during flame spreading over wire insulation in microgravity. Proc Combust Inst 34:2657–2664.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2012.06.158 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hu WR, Zhao JF, Long M et al (2014) Space program SJ-10 of microgravity research. Microgravity Sci Technol 26:159–169.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12217-014-9390-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zhao H, Qiu J, Tang B et al (2016) The SJ-10 recoverable microgravity satellite of China. J Space Explor 4:1–9Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zhu F, Wang S, Lu Z (2018) A comparative study of near-limit flame spread over a thick solid in space- and ground-based experiments. Microgravity Sci Technol 30:943–949.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12217-018-9655-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Zhu F, Lu Z, Wang S, Yin Y (2019) Microgravity diffusion flame spread over a thick solid in step-changed low-velocity opposed flows. Combust Flame 205:55–67.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2019.03.040 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Joeckle R, Gautier B, Lacroix F et al (1992) Behaviour of different PMMA qualities under CO2 laser irradiation. SPIE 1810:624–627Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Olson SL, Hegde U, Bhattacharjee S et al (2004) Sounding rocket microgravity experiments elucidating diffusive and radiative transport effects on flame spread over thermally thick solids. Combust Sci Technol 176:557–584.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00102200490276773 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Prasad K, Nakamura Y, Olson SL et al (2002) Effect of wind velocity on flame spread in microgravity. Proc Combust Inst 29:2553–2560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Burke SP, Schumann TEW (1928) Diffusion flames. Ind Eng Chem 20:998–1004.  https://doi.org/10.1021/ie50226a005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Williams FA (1985) Combustion theory, 2nd edn. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Nakamura Y, Yoshimura N, Ito H et al (2009) Flame spread over electric wire in sub-atmospheric pressure. Proc Combust Inst 32:2559–2566. 10.1016/j.proci.2008.06.146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lin K-C, Faeth G-M (1996) Effects of hydrodynamics on soot formation in laminar opposed-jet diffusion flames. J Propuls Power 12:691–698.  https://doi.org/10.2514/3.24090 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Xiao H, Gollner MJ, Oran ES (2016) From fire whirls to blue whirls and combustion with reduced pollution. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113:9457–9462.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1605860113 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Fuentes A, Legros G, Claverie A et al (2007) Interactions between soot and CH* in a laminar boundary layer type diffusion flame in microgravity. Proc Combust Inst 31(II):2685–2692.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2006.08.031 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Bhattacharjee S, Ayala R, Wakai K, Takahashi S (2005) Opposed-flow flame spread in microgravity-theoretical prediction of spread rate and flammability map. Proc Combust Inst 30:2279–2286.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2004.08.020 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Tien JS, Bedir H (1997) Radiation extinction of diffusion flames—a review. In: Asian-Pacific Conference on Combustion. Osaka, JapanGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Taylor P, Kumar C, Kumar A (2012) Combustion theory and modelling on the role of radiation and dimensionality in predicting flow opposed flame spread over thin fuels. Combust Theory Model 16:37–41.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13647830.2011.642003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Olson SL (1991) Mechanisms of microgravity flame spread over a thin solid fuel: oxygen and opposed flow effects. Combust Sci Technol 76:233–249.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00102209108951711 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Kikuchi M, Fujita O, Ito K et al (1998) Experimental study on flame spread over wire insulation in microgravity. Symp Combust 27:2507–2514.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0082-0784(98)80102-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    West J, Tang L, Altenkirch RA et al (1996) Quiescent flame spread over thick fuels in microgravity. Symp Combust 26:1335–1343.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0082-0784(96)80352-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Altenkirch RA, Tang L, Sacksteder K et al (1998) Inherently unsteady flame spread to extinction over thick fuels in microgravity. Symp Combust 27:2515–2524.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0082-0784(98)80103-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Vietoris T, Ellzey JL, Joulain P et al (2000) Laminar diffusion flame in microgravity: the results of the minitexus 6 sounding rocket experiment. Proc Combust Inst 28:2883–2889.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0082-0784(00)80712-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Fernandez-Pello AC, Ray SR, Glassman I (1981) Flame spread in an opposed forced flow: the effect of ambient oxygen concentration. Symp Combust 18:579–589.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0082-0784(81)80063-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Fernandez-Pello AC (1995) The solid phase. In: Combustion fundamentals of fire. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 31–100Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Fujita O, Kyono T, Kido Y et al (2011) Ignition of electrical wire insulation with short-term excess electric current in microgravity. Proc Combust Inst 33:2617–2623.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2010.06.123 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuanjia Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xinyan Huang
    • 3
  • Shuangfeng Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Feng Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yongli Yin
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Microgravity, Institute of MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Engineering ScienceUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Research Center for Fire EngineeringThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonChina
  4. 4.China Astronaut Research and Training CenterBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations