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Flammable and Combustible Liquid Spill/Burn Patterns

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2001
52 pages
This technical report examines flammable and combustible liquid spill/burn patterns.
This investigation attempts to predict the quantity of liquid fuel necessary to create a burn pattern of a given size. Full scale spill and fire experiments were conducted with gasoline and kerosene on vinyl, wood parquet, and carpet covered plywood floors using various quantities of fuel. Spill areas were measured and, for nonporous floors, the results were compared to analytical predictions. Burn pattern areas were correlated with the spill areas, which resulted in a method for predicting the quantity of spilled fuel required to form a burn pattern of a given size. The heat release rates of the fuel spill fires were determined through experiment and compared to an existing reference for burning liquid pools of the same surface area. The peak spill fire heat release rates for nonporous surfaces were found to be approximately 1/8 to 1/4 of those from equivalent area pool fires. The peak heat release rates for spill fires on carpet were approximately equal to those from equivalent area pool fires. The heat release rates can be used as inputs for fire modeling or for evaluating fire scenarios. Notes, tables, references, figures, appendix

Date Published: March 1, 2001