The water-mist fire suppression experiment: Recent ground-based results and planned space experiments

Amon, Francine; Abbud-Madrid, Angel; Riedel, Edward P.; McKinnon, J. Thomas
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p402
Academic Journal
An investigation of the effect of water mists on premixed flame propagation in a cylindrical tube under reduced-gravity conditions has been conducted to define the scientific and technical objectives of the experiments to be performed in the Space Shuttle and International Space Station microgravity environments. The inhibiting characteristics of water mists in buoyancy-free propagating flames of propane-air mixtures at various equivalence ratios are investigated. The effects of droplet size and concentration on the laminar flame speed and flame shape are used as the measure of fire suppression efficacy. Reduced gravity is currently obtained in the NASA KC-135 aircraft flying parabolic trajectories. Two different types of flame behavior are found depending on the mixture stoichiometry. In the case of lean C[sub 3]H[sub 8]-air mixtures, the flame speed initially increases with low water mist concentrations and then decreases below its dry value when higher water mist volumes are introduced in the tube. For rich C[sub 3]H[sub 8]-air mixtures, similar behavior of flame speed vs. water concentration is encountered but in this case is mostly due to the formation of cellular flames which acquire higher temperatures and consequently become more resistant to extinction by the water mist. The character of the mist aerosol (droplet size distribution, concentration and wall deposition rate) as a function of time and position is also investigated. It is suspected that the unusual flame behavior may be due in part to the short duration and low quality of the reduced gravity available in the KC-135 aircraft. Consequently, the next stage of the Water Mist Fire Suppression project (Mist) is the development of an experiment that will take advantage of the long duration and high-quality microgravity experienced in orbital flight. The final objective is to create a detailed map of flame speed, droplet diameter, water concentration, and equivalence ratio, which will give the ...


Related Articles

  • In space, no one can see the flames.  // Fire Safety Engineering;Apr2008, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p10 

    The article reports that BRE Global Ltd. has undertaken a project on fire research by offering fire safety consultancy to European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC) in Noordwijk in the Netherlands to acquire knowledge of how fire grows and fire and smoke spreads in zero gravity...

  • A Numerical Study onFire Suppression of Water Mist in Microgravity. Xue Han; Jun Qin; Junjun Tao; Minghui Feng // Advanced Materials Research;2014, Vol. 1016, p819 

    Water mist technology has been developed and regarded as a promising substitute fire-extinguishing agent in spacecraft. In this paper, a numerical simulation method is introduced to investigate the effect of water mist size, velocity and flow rateon the fire suppressionefficiencyin microgravity....

  • Numerical study of flame spread in an n-heptane droplet array in different ambient temperature and microgravity conditions. Ranjbaran, S.; Tabejamaat, S. // Combustion, Explosion, & Shock Waves;May2011, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p265 

    Flame spread in an n-heptane droplet array under conditions of microgravity, different ambient temperatures, and droplet spacing is studied numerically. The dimensionless distance, fuel type, and ambient temperature are characteristic parameters that could change the flame spread modes....

  • Micro-gravity 'not a priority' Coppinger, Rob // Engineer (00137758);3/21/2003, Vol. 291 Issue 7623, p8 

    Reports on the reasons for the discontinuation of microgravity research in Great Britain. Lack of government funding; Inadequacy of consultation; Lack of equipment.

  • Lightweight decisions on weighty matters. Harvey, Fiona // Engineer (00137758);3/21/2003, Vol. 291 Issue 7623, p23 

    Comments on the failure of the government to fund research in microgravity in Great Britain. Lack of proper procedures for reviewing the future of research; Lack of transparency in the decision-making process; Fees demanded by the European Space Agency a year for use of its equipment.

  • Marvelous microgravity. Kowalski, Kathiann M. // Odyssey;Feb97, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p6 

    Focuses on the importance of microgravity to scientific research. How microgravity is achieved; Fields that benefit from experiments in reduced gravity environments; Costs of microgravity research in space; Prospects of building factories in space; Products that could be improved by...

  • Look out below! K.M.K. // Odyssey;Feb97, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p13 

    Describes the author's experience during a ride on the Demon Drop in Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio which demonstrated how microgravity is achieved during a free fall drop.

  • Science Notes: Microgravity Concepts. Roach, Mike // Australian Science Teachers Journal;Sep2000, Vol. 46 Issue 3, p49 

    Discusses the concept of microgravity which is a term used to describe a very low gravity environment. Similarity with weightlessness; State of gravity on astronauts in earth orbit; Preparation of astronauts for the effects of weightlessness; Activities that demonstrate the effects of...

  • Investigating Microgravity. Vreeland, Pete // Science Teacher;Oct2002, Vol. 69 Issue 7, p36 

    Presents the experiment on microgravity. Concepts on the behavior of objects in a weightless environment; Background of the experiment; Materials needed in the experiment.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics