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Recent Reports

Title: Principles and Practice of Microscale Combustion Calorimetry
Author: Richard E. Lyon, Richard N. Walters, Stanislav I. Stoliarov, and Natallia Safronava

The principles and practice of pyrolysis combustion flow calorimetry as embodied in the Federal Aviation Administration microscale combustion calorimeter (MCC) are reviewed to produce a technical basis for a standard set of operating parameters and procedures that produce accurate, repeatable, and reproducible thermal combustion properties of materials as codified in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D7309 Standard Test Method for Determining Flammability Characteristics of Plastics and Other Solid Materials Using Microscale Combustion Calorimetry. The relationship between MCC thermal combustion properties of materials and the results of fire and flammability tests are presented and discussed.

Report: DOT/FAA/TC-12/53, R1 Pages: 95 Size: 3.4 MB
Title: Flammability of Hydrogen at Sub-Atmospheric Pressures and Reduced Oxygen Concentrations
Author: Steven J. Rehn

Prototype aircraft are currently being built and tested that rely on hydrogen fuel cells to provide power for their electrical demands, and some even use hydrogen to power the entire aircraft. The problem with hydrogen is that it is extremely flammable and has never been used in this capacity before. Therefore, the flammability of hydrogen was tested from the pressure at sea level up to 40,000 feet in a 20 L vessel. The lower and upper flammability limits were found first and compared with previous data. Then, peak explosion pressure was found across all flammable hydrogen and oxygen concentrations. The oxygen concentration started from the concentration found in air and was reduced by adding nitrogen. These tests were performed up to the point where the limiting oxygen concentration was reached for each altitude. In general, as the altitude increased, the limits of flammability for hydrogen and oxygen widened, and the peak explosion pressures decreased.

Report: DOT/FAA/TC-TT14/36 Pages: 65 Size: 1 MB
Title: Thermal Acoustic Insulation Contamination Research
Author: R.G.W. Cherry & Associates Limited

This report summarizes the research work carried out on behalf of Transport Canada and the UK Civil Aviation Authority into the potential threat that might exist from contaminated thermal acoustic insulation materials). The research has been conducted in the light of related activities carried out by the industry which are also described or referenced in this report. The study is based on data analysis, literature searches, aircraft surveys, consultation with the industry, and flammability testing carried out on a test rig developed especially for this study.

This report addresses the nature of contaminants found on thermal acoustic insulation on in-service airplanes, the potential fire threat that they might present, and the actions taken by the industry to mitigate these threats. The report also makes ten recommendations aimed at improving the resistance of the airplane to hidden fires that might be fueled by contaminants.

Report: DOT/FAA/TC-14/24 Pages: 114 Size: 1.75 MB