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A Model for Assessing Ignition, Flame Spread, and Burn Hazard Potential of a Multilayered Jacket

Ezekoye, Ofodike A. PhD*; Diller, Kenneth R. ScD

doi: 10.1097/01.BCR.0000226265.42538.D4
Original Articles

An analysis is presented of ignition, flame spread, and skin burn associated with the ignition and burning of a multilayered jacket. The important physical processes can all be detailed based on simple thermophysical modeling. The ignition process associated with proximity to a radiant heat source is analyzed to see how a change in external (outer) fabric could have diminished the likelihood of ignition. Once the composite jacket has been ignited, the flame spread process is responsible for the heat transfer to the skin that causes the burn. We analyze the effects of the jacket innermost material on flame spread and on possible burn damage. We show how available thermophysical property data can be used to estimate the effect of inner layer material on burn event duration. Finally, given best-available data on the heat transfer rates between a burning inner layer and skin, we examine the kinetics of skin burn damage to determine the most likely injury that would result.

From the *Department of Mechanical Engineering and †Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin.

Supported in part by the Robert M. and Prudie Leibrock Endowed Professorship in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and by the W.W. Dornberger Centennial Teaching Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin.

Address correspondence to Ofodike A. Ezekoye, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712.

© 2006 The American Burn Association