A pre-print of our symposium paper, “Experimental Study of Upward Flame Spread and Burning of an
Inclined Fuel Surface,” accepted to the 34th International Symposium of the Combustion Institute has now been posted online and can be downloaded here: http://maeresearch.ucsd.edu/~mgollner/publications/2012_inclined_symposium.pdf
A thermally thick slab of polymethyl methacrylate was used to study the effects of the inclination angle of a fuel surface on upward flame spread. While investigation of upward spread over solid fuels has typically been restricted to an upright orientation, inclination of the fuel surface from the vertical is a common occurrence that has not yet been adequately addressed. By performing experiments on 10 cm wide by 20 cm tall fuel samples it was found that the maximum flame-spread rate, occurring nearly in a vertical configuration, does not correspond to the maximum fuel mass-loss rate, which occurs closer to a horizontal configuration. A detailed
study of both flame spread and steady burning at different angles of inclination revealed the influence of buoyancy-induced flows in modifying heat-flux profiles ahead of the flame front, which control flame spread, and in affecting the heat flux to the burning surface of the fuel, which controls fuel mass-loss rates.