The Influence of Compartment Temperature on Backdraught Dynamics
Backdraught is an unpredictable and dangerous fire phenomenon, particularly for firefighters during search, rescue and firefighting activities. Most previous research into backdraught has used methane as fuel, leaving many questions unanswered. A series of reduced-scale backdraught experiments have been carried out using solid polypropylene as a fuel source, and conclusions have been drawn correlating the compartment temperatures to the onset of backdraught. It is found that when the maximum temperature in the compartment is above 350 °C when the door is opened, a backdraught can occur by auto-ignition, and no ignition source is required. However, no correlations could be identified with temperatures near the door or near the floor. It was also found that there is a correlation between compartment temperature and backdraught delay time, with cooler compartment temperatures leading to longer delays.
KeywordsBackdraught Temperature distribution Firefighting
The research project was funded by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan. The authors would like to acknowledge the input and valuable advice of Professors Charles Fleischmann, Dougal Drysdale and Albert Simeoni, and Dr Agustin Majdalani. Also, last but not least, many thanks must go to Michal Krajcovic for ongoing assistance in the laboratory; none of these tests would have been completed without his help.
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