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Intermediate Scale Composite Material Fire Testing

[+] Author Affiliations
Alexander L. Brown, Amanda B. Dodd

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM

Brent M. Pickett

Air Force Research Laboratory, Tyndall Air Force Base, FL

Paper No. IMECE2011-63725, pp. 1281-1282; 2 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Composite materials are increasingly being used in aviation applications. As the quantity of composite material increases, there is a corresponding need to develop a better understanding of composite material response in fire environments. We have recently developed a program to examine this problem experimentally and computationally. Although Sandia National Laboratories and Air Force Research Laboratories at Tyndall have slightly different focuses, we are collaborating to focus on understanding duration, intensity, and the underlying physics during composite fires, as well as the technology and procedures to safely manage composite fire events. In the past year, we have been performing both small and intermediate scale testing to understand the behavior of composite materials used in aviation applications. The current focus is on a set of intermediate scale tests to generate data useful for understanding the behavior of carbon fiber epoxy composites in adverse thermal environments. A series of tests has been performed in a 90 cm cubic enclosure with 25–40 kg of composite materials to generate a severe fire environment fueled mostly by the composites. Preliminary results of these tests will be reported to provide data on the severity of the environment in terms of thermal intensity, duration, and chemical products.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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