Combustion and Flame, Vol.225, 214-227, 2021
Experimental characterization and modeling of boundary conditions and flame spread dynamics observed in the UL-94V test
To characterize the UL-94 vertical burning test (UL-94 V), temperature, oxygen content, and heat flux of the burner flame were measured using an R-type thermocouple, oxygen analyzer, and water-cooled Schmidt-Boelter gage, respectively. To account for sample geometry, mock samples from Kaowool PM insulation board were used during the burner measurements. Temperature and heat flux measurements were used to express the heat flux of the burner as a linear, piecewise function of burner flame temperature and a constant convective heat transfer coefficient. UL-94 V tests were conducted using 0.27 cm thick poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) samples with and without insulated sides to investigate edge effects. All UL-94 V tests were recorded on video using a 900-nm narrow-band filter to focus on emissions from soot for tracking flame length over time. In some of these tests, a heat flux gage was embedded into the sample to measure PMMA flame heat flux to verify a previously developed laminar wall flame heat feedback submodel. PMMA flame heat fluxes of insulated samples confirmed the wall flame submodel, while non-insulated samples had significantly greater heat fluxes; the flame submodel was scaled accordingly. The burner and wall flame heat flux submodels were combined with an independently developed pyrolysis model of PMMA to conduct two-dimensional, time-resolved simulations of the UL-94 V test. Burner flame oxygen content was measured to be about 5 vol% and was found to enhance PMMA decomposition. Inclusion of the oxygen effect was essential to predict ignition. The simulation predicted flame length and spread on insulated UL-94 V samples reasonably well, validating the submodels. However, the simulation underpredicted flame length on the non-insulated samples; discrepancies were attributed to burning and spread on the edges which were not modeled explicitly. The developed model can be applied to non-charring polymeric solids with no to moderate amount of dripping. Its applicability for charring and intumescent materials will be explored in the future. (C) 2020 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.