Sandra L. Olson
Bio: Sandra L. Olson is an academic researcher from Glenn Research Center. The author has contributed to research in topics: Flame spread & Premixed flame. The author has an hindex of 22, co-authored 106 publications receiving 1606 citations.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: In this article, a flame spread map is presented which indicates three distinct regions where different mechanisms control the flame spread process: near-quenching region, very low characteristic relative velocities, a new controlling mechanism for flame spread - oxidizer transport-limited chemical reaction - is proposed.
Abstract: Microgravity tests varying oxygen concentration and forced flow velocity have examined the importance of transport processes on flame spread over very thin solid fuels. Flame spread rates, solid phase temperature profiles and flame appearance for these tests are measured. A flame spread map is presented which indicates three distinct regions where different mechanisms control the flame spread process. In the near-quenching region (very low characteristic relative velocities) a new controlling mechanism for flame spread - oxidizer transport-limited chemical reaction - is proposed. In the near-limit, blowoff region, high opposed flow velocities impose residence time limitations on the flame spread process. A critical characteristic relative velocity line between the two near-limit regions defines conditions which result in maximum flammability both in terms of a peak flame spread rate and minimum oxygen concentration for steady burning. In the third region, away from both near-limit regions, the flame spread behavior, which can accurately be described by a thermal theory, is controlled by gas-phase conduction.
••01 Jan 1989
TL;DR: In this article, the flame behavior is observed to depend strongly on the magnitude of the relative velocity between the flame and the atmosphere, and a low velocity quenching limit is found in low oxgen environments.
Abstract: Diffusion flame spread over a thin solid fuel in quiescent and slowly moving atmospheres is studied in microgravity. The flame behavior is observed to depend strongly on the magnitude of the relative velocity between the flame and the atmosphere. In particular, a low velocity quenching limit is found to exist in low oxgen environments. Using both the microgravity results and previously published data at high opposed-flow velocities, the flame spread behavior is examined over a wide velocity range. A flammability map using molar oxygen percentages and characteristic relative velocities as coordinates is constructed. Trends of flame spread rate are determined and mechanisms for flame extinction are discussed.
TL;DR: In this article, two sets of experiments are described, one involving flame spread in a Narrow Channel Apparatus (NCA) in normal gravity, and the other taking place in actual microgravity.
Abstract: Most previous research on flame spread over solid surfaces has involved flames in open areas. In this study, the flame spreads in a narrow gap, as occurs in fires behind walls or inside electronic equipment. This geometry leads to interesting flame behaviors not typically seen in open flame spread, and also reproduces some of the conditions experienced by microgravity flames. Two sets of experiments are described, one involving flame spread in a Narrow Channel Apparatus (NCA) in normal gravity, and the others taking place in actual microgravity. Three primary variables are considered: flow velocity, oxygen concentration, and gap size (or effect of heat loss). When the oxidizer flow is reduced at either gravity level, the initially uniform flame front becomes corrugated and breaks into separate flamelets. This breakup behavior allows the flame to keep propagating below standard extinction limits by increasing the oxidizer transport to the flame, but has not been observed in other microgravity experiments due to the narrow samples employed. Breakup cannot be studied in typical (i.e., “open”) normal gravity test facilities due to buoyancy-induced opposed flow velocities that are larger than the forced velocities in the flamelet regime. Flammability maps are constructed that delineate the uniform regime, the flamelet regime, and extinction limits for thin cellulose samples. Good agreement is found between flame and flamelet spread rate and flamelet size between the two facilities. Supporting calculations using FLUENT suggest that for small gaps buoyancy is suppressed and exerts a negligible influence on the flow pattern for inlet velocities ⩾5 cm/s. The experiments show that in normal gravity the flamelets are a fire hazard since they can persist in small gaps where they are hard to detect. The results also indicate that the NCA quantitatively captures the essential features of the microgravity tests for thin fuels in opposed flow.
TL;DR: In this paper, a low-stretch diffusion flame is generated using a cylindrical PMMA sample of varying large radii, and a surface energy balance reveals that the fraction of heat transfer from the flame that is lost to in-depth conduction and surface radiation increases with decreasing stretch until quenching extinction is observed.
Abstract: A unique new way to study low gravity flames in normal gravity has been developed. To study flame structure and extinction characteristics in low stretch environments, a normal gravity low-stretch diffusion flame is generated using a cylindrical PMMA sample of varying large radii. Burning rates, visible flame thickness, visible flame standoff distance, temperature profiles in the solid and gas, and radiative loss from the system were measured. A transition from the blowoff side of the flammability map to the quenching side of the flammability map is observed at approximately 6-7/ sec, as determined by curvefits to the non-monotonic trends in peak temperatures, solid and gas-phase temperature gradients, and non-dimensional standoff distances. A surface energy balance reveals that the fraction of heat transfer from the flame that is lost to in-depth conduction and surface radiation increases with decreasing stretch until quenching extinction is observed. This is primarily due to decreased heat transfer from the flame, while the magnitude of the losses remains the same. A unique local extinction flamelet phenomena and associated pre-extinction oscillations are observed at very low stretch. An ultimate quenching extinction limit is found at low stretch with sufficiently high induced heat losses.
TL;DR: In this paper, the results of studies on the ignition and behavior of cylindrically symmetric, laminar diffusion flames of methane and propane in quiescent air under microgravity conditions were presented.
Abstract: This paper presents the results of studies on the ignition and behavior of cylindrically symmetric, laminar diffusion flames of methane and propane in quiescent air under microgravity conditions. In prior research, similar flames were ignited in normal gravity and then subjected to the microgravity condition once the flame was established. In this paper, comparisons between the two methods of ignition and observations of the flame behavior and distinct nature of flame color and luminosity are presented. Application of a steady-state, parabolic model has shown satisfactory agreement between the predicted and observed flame heights for those flames that reached a near-steady state in the 2.2s period of microgravity
01 Jan 2000
••01 Jan 2007
01 Jan 2001
TL;DR: This guide provides the theoretical basis for the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and a summary of the work performed to evaluate the model, and a survey of work conducted to date to evaluate FDS.
Abstract: Certain commercial entities, equipment, or materials may be identified in this document in order to describe an experimental procedure or concept adequately. Such identification is not intended to imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor is it intended to imply that the entities, materials, or equipment are necessarily the best available for the purpose. Preface The use of fire models currently extends beyond the fire research laboratories and into the engineering, fire service and legal communities. Surveys [1, 2] of available fire models show a significant increase in number over the last decade. Sufficient evaluation of any model is necessary to ensure that users can judge the adequacy of its technical basis, appropriateness of its use, and confidence level of its predictions. This document provides the theoretical basis for the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and a summary of the work performed to evaluate the model. This guide is based in part on the " Standard Guide for Evaluating the Predictive Capability of De-terministic Fire Models, " ASTM E 1355 . ASTM E 1355 defines model evaluation as " the process of quantifying the accuracy of chosen results from a model when applied for a specific use. " The model evaluation process consists of two main components: verification and validation. Verification is a process to check the correctness of the solution of the governing equations. Verification does not imply that the governing equations are appropriate; only that the equations are being solved correctly. Validation is a process to determine the appropriateness of the governing equations as a mathematical model of the physical phenomena of interest. Typically, validation involves comparing model results with experimental measurement. Differences that cannot be explained in terms of numerical errors in the model or uncertainty in the measurements are attributed to the assumptions and simplifications of the physical model. Evaluation is critical to establishing both the acceptable uses and limitations of a model. Throughout its development, FDS has undergone various forms of evaluation, both at NIST and beyond. This guide provides a survey of work conducted to date to evaluate FDS. Roughly half of the referenced studies were aimed primarily at model evaluation, the other half describe limited work to validate FDS for a specific use. The latter group were performed mostly by practicing engineers who did not have the time or resources to comprehensively evaluate the model. Collectively, the body …
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors describe the development of a three-dimensional, fully transient, physics-based computer simulation approach for modelling fire spread through surface fuels and compare the results from Australian experiments.
Abstract: Physics-based coupled fire–atmosphere models are based on approximations to the governing equations of fluid dynamics, combustion, and the thermal degradation of solid fuel. They require significantly more computational resources than the most commonly used fire spread models, which are semi-empirical or empirical. However, there are a number of fire behaviour problems, of increasing relevance, that are outside the scope of empirical and semi-empirical models. Examples are wildland–urban interface fires, assessing how well fuel treatments work to reduce the intensity of wildland fires, and investigating the mechanisms and conditions underlying blow-up fires and fire spread through heterogeneous fuels. These problems are not amenable to repeatable full-scale field studies. Suitably validated coupled atmosphere–fire models are one way to address these problems. This paper describes the development of a three-dimensional, fully transient, physics-based computer simulation approach for modelling fire spread through surface fuels. Grassland fires were simulated and compared to findings from Australian experiments. Predictions of the head fire spread rate for a range of ambient wind speeds and ignition line-fire lengths compared favourably to experiments. In addition, two specific experimental cases were simulated in order to evaluate how well the model predicts the development of the entire fire perimeter.
TL;DR: In this paper, a review of the progress that has been made to the understanding of chemical and physical processes, which occur during combustion of solid fuels, is presented, and the effects of bubble formation on the transport of volatiles during thermal degradation of non-charring fuels, described through a one-step global reaction, have been modeled.
Abstract: Some of the progress that, owing to modeling and numerical simulation, has been made to the understanding of chemical and physical processes, which occur during combustion of solid fuels, is presented. The first part of the review deals with thermal degradation processes of charring (2ood and, in general, cellulosic materials) and non-charring (poly-methyl-methacrylate) materials. Gas-phase combustion processes (ignition, flame spread and extinction) are discussed in the second part of the review. Solid fuel degradation has been described by kinetic models of different complexity, varying from a simple one-step global reaction, to multi-step reaction mechanisms, accounting only for primary solid fuel degradation, and to semi-global reaction mechanisms, accounting for both primary solid degradation and secondary degradation of evolved primary pyrolysis products. Semi-global kinetic models have been coupled to models of transport phenomena to simulate thermal degradation of charring fuels under ablation regime conditions. The effects of bubble formation on the transport of volatiles during thermal degradation of non-charring fuels, described through a one-step global reaction, have also been modeled. On the contrary, very simplified treatments of solid phase processes have been used when gas phase combustion processes are also simulated. On the other hand, the latter have also always been described through one-step global reactions. Numerical modeling has allowed controlling mechanisms of ignition and flame spread to be determined and the understanding of the interaction between chemistry and physics during thermal degradation of solid fuels to be improved. However, the chemical processes are not well understood, the few kinetic data are in most cases empirical and variations of solid properties during degradation are very poorly known, so that even the most advanced models do not in general give quantitative predictions.