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In order to understand, and alter, the behaviour of a material in a fire, it is necessary to know as much as possible about the processes of decomposition. These processes are often highly dependent on the conditions, particularly the atmosphere. The sensitivity of changes to say air, nitrogen, air/nitrogen, and even oxygen, or to heating rate or sample shape and size, can help to identify the processes occurring. Moreover, sensitivity to these parameters gives away vital clues needed to interpret the fire behaviour.
Assessment of toxic hazard is increasingly being recognised as an important factor in the assessment of fire hazard. Prediction of toxic fire hazard depends on two parameters.
In addition to our specialised research equipment, UCLan also have a number of ISO, EN, BS and ASTM standard tests for ignitability, flammability, and heat release determination. These can be modified for use in research programmes but are also available as standard tests so that materials and product behaviour can be determined in a standard manner and results directly related to the requirements of industry and regulators.
We are very fortunate to enjoy an excellent working relationship with a large-scale outdoor burn facility. This has allowed us to accommodate a variety of large scale tests provided they can be conducted within a shipping container, or in the open air. We can also provide mobile fire monitoring facilities for sampling and effluent analysis. Please contact us if you feel you might benefit from access to these facilities.
Computer simulation has become an integral part of fire safety engineering and this tendency is expected to increase with the evolution of performance based design. Condensed phase fuel production, which plays a pivotal role in fire growth, has become an increasingly large research area in the last decade, resulting in the development of numerical models of pyrolysis incorporating complex arrays of physical and chemical processes.
During recent years, analytical techniques have been used widely for the measurement of the concentrations of specific volatiles generated during both laboratory studies and real fires.
Polymers and composites are being steadily improved, as their various applications increase rapidly. In most cases, the materials must pass a variety of tests that range from flammability and smoke release to effluent toxicity. There are also fire test methods that can provide a quantitative relative ranking of fire resistance. They are also called small-scale extinction fire tests.
Laboratory and analytical services
We have developed analytical methods to detect:
Acute Fire Toxicants
- Hydrogen cyanide (HCN)
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
- Nitrogen oxides (NO, NO2)
- Hydrogen chloride (HCl)
- Hydrogen bromide (HBr)
- Hydrogen fluoride (HF)
- Phosphoric Acid (H3PO4)
- Acrolein (C3H4O)
- Formaldehyde (CHOH)
Chronic and Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
- Particulates (within the size from 1 nanometre to 10 micrometres)
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Semi- and Volatile- Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Polybrominated Diphenyls Ethers (PBDEs)
- Phosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs)
- Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs)
- Polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs)
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
- Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)
- Range of chemical elements (most present on the periodic table)
- Synthetic Vitreous Fibres (SVFs)
Please contact us for further information or to discuss your needs with one of our scientists.
Find out more
To uncover our latest projects and recent news, please visit our primary page for the Centre for Fire and Hazards Sciences.
To discover our current projects, please visit our primary page for the Centre for Fire and Hazards Sciences.
We have an extensive range of equipment and facilities for quantifying fire behaviour and standard testing which is available for testing, research and consultancy.
Please get in touch with us to find out more.