Identification of fire gases in early stages of fire in laboratory scaled and full scale fire experiments

May, Adam D R (2011) Identification of fire gases in early stages of fire in laboratory scaled and full scale fire experiments. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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A series of reduced scale emulations of standard fires in a 2 m3 enclosure have been
developed for studies at laboratory scale enabling useful comparison and correlation
with full scale EN54/7 and UL268 test fires. This makes study of standard test fire
conditions and products substantially more accessible. The reduced scale test fire
emulations have smoke obscuration characteristics matched to the fire standards and
show acceptable matching of experimental CO levels
Sensor, fire detector, and analytical studies have been carried out on test fires in the
2 m3 enclosure and in a full scale test room. Protocols were developed for capture of gas
and vapours from fires on absorbent media and their subsequently desorption and
analysis by GC/MS techniques. A data set of GC chromatograms has been generated for
full and reduced scale test fires and for a number of non standard fire or false alarm
related process including overheating of cooking oils and toasting bread. Analysis of
mass spectrometry ion fragmentation spectra has been carried out and a wide range of
products identified. Products occurring for a range of different fires include propene,
benzene, and some polyaromatics.
The value of the scaled test fire emulations has been demonstrated by monitoring
response of a range of sensors, detectors and instruments including electrochemical gas
sensor, experimental and conventional light scattering smoke detectors, and ion
mobility measurement equipment (FAIMS).
The study has provided information on fire characteristics and products to inform future
research and development on fire detection technologies.

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