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Methodology for estimating pyrolysis rates of charring insulation materials using experimental temperature measurements

Hidalgo, JP; Gerasimov, N; Hadden, RM; Torero, JL; Welch, S; (2016) Methodology for estimating pyrolysis rates of charring insulation materials using experimental temperature measurements. Journal of Building Engineering , 8 pp. 249-259. 10.1016/j.jobe.2016.09.007. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper presents the application of a simplified method to estimate pyrolysis rates from rigid closed-cell cellular plastics by means of experimental temperature measurements. These materials are extremely effective in meeting energy efficiency goals in buildings and their safe use should also be enabled and optimised by undertaking comprehensive fire safety analyses. The proposed methodology consists of determining the mass loss as a function of the thermal evolution by applying a mass conversion directly using thermogravimetric data under non-oxidative conditions. In order to verify this simplified method, an experimental programme based on 100 mm thick samples of rigid polyisocyanurate foam was conducted using a Cone Calorimeter, obtaining measurements of mass loss and temperature within the core of the material. A Monel plate was used on top of the sample in order to represent a simpler boundary condition by eliminating the smouldering process of the charred material. Although the pyrolysis rates using this methodology did not provide a perfect fit with experimental data, they showed similar trends, with a slightly delayed prediction but still accurate magnitude. This methodology presents potential for fire safety engineering applications in two domains: (1) as a complementary technique to improve the interpretation of results from standard and ad-hoc testing, and (2) as a design technique for the evaluation of potential heat release contribution and gaseous emissions of assemblies incorporating insulation materials.

Type: Article
Title: Methodology for estimating pyrolysis rates of charring insulation materials using experimental temperature measurements
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jobe.2016.09.007
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2016.09.007
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Insulation materials, Fire safety, Pyrolysis, Modelling, Performance-based design, Charring
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069565
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