The role of oxygen in the ignition of polystyrene by a small flame

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Journal titleJournal of Polymer Science, Polymer Chemistry Edition
Pages26368; # of pages: 196
Subjectpolystyrene; hydrogen; oxygen; flame spread; ignition; pyrolysis; high-impact polystyrene slabs; ignition delays; initial rates of flame development; gas temperatures; oxidative and nonoxidative pyrolysis; Fire; polystyrene; hydrogene; oxygene; propagation de la flamme; ignition; pyrolyse
AbstractThe ignition of slabs of high-impact polystyrene by a lean hydrogen-oxygen flat flame was studied. The ignition delays and initial rates of flame development after ignition are reported as functions of gas temperature and the separation between flame and polymer surface. The delays follow an Arrhenius-type expression with an activation energy of 98 + or - 18 kJ mol[-1]. The rates of flame development drop as the gas temperature increases. During long ignition delays the apparent heat transfer coefficient at the sample surface dropped from about 100 W m[-2]K[-1] to values close to that expected for a hot gas impinging at right angles on a cold surface. For short delays it was higher and more constant at about 100 W m[-2]K[-1]. Although the surface temperature reached before ignition exceeded that required for nonoxidative pyrolysis, the polymer surface charred only when oxygen was present. It is concluded that both oxidative and nonoxidative pyrolysis contribute to the ignition of polystyrene.
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AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number23284
NPARC number20378571
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Record identifier44535102-4c00-4bec-b0d2-a91494bd19cd
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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