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FIRE-SUPPRESSION OF SMALL GASEOUS DIFFUSION FLAMES USING A WATER MIST.

This (Navy Technology Center for Safety and Survivability) report presents a study of the relative contributions of latent heat, heat capacity effects, and oxygen dilution, in the water mist suppression of a gaseous diffusion flame. The work is motivated by the urgent need to find an alternative to the banned halogen-based fire suppressing agents. Water mist is a contending alternative agent, especially in total flooding applications.

A modified Wolfhard-Parker burner is used to establish a 2-D methane air-diffusion flame. Drops in flame temperature are measured when various quantities of nitrogen, steam, and water mist are added, independently, in a co-flow arrangement. Thermal images of the flames are obtained using the Agema Thennovision(tm)instrument. Both temperature and IR measurements show that water mist suppresses both the flame-temperature and flame-height. A simple model of the flame is used to estimate the heat generation and loss processes taking place in the flame when small amounts of various suppressants are added. The results of both the experiments and the analysis show that in a co-flow arrangement, where small quantities of water mist are added to the diffusion flame, the effects of latent heat, heat capacity, and oxygen dilution, are all important. The report also shows that overall, the contributions of thermal cooling are slightly bigger than those of oxygen dilution.

(Order this INDUSTRIAL HEALTH & HAZARDS UPDATE reviewed report from InfoTeam Inc., P.O. Box 15640, Plantation, FL 33318-5640; Phone (954) 473-9560, Fax (954) 473-0544: Report No. H990117; 1998, 50 pp. Price: $109.00, prepaid. E-mail to: InfoTeamMA@aol.com)
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Publication:Industrial Environment
Date:Jan 1, 1999
Words:256
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