Combustion of common household items containing plastic and cellulosic solid and liquid materials results in flaming and
smoldering fires. Products of combustion of these fires include H2O, CO2, energy release, visible or infrared radiation, gaseous hydrocarbons, and solid and semi-volatile particles. Commercial and household smoke detectors rely on ionization and photoelectric techniques to detect particles generated by flaming and smoldering fires and the National Fire Protection Association recommends using both techniques in parallel to improve detection
capabilities. The purpose of this study is to improve the understanding of how the response of commercial smoke detectors
depends on the physical and chemical characteristics of smoke particles, i.e. varying number concentration and size distribution. Our data, in turn, will support the development, analysis, and
optimization of the complete fire detection systems used by commercial aircrafts in the future.
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Dependence of Fire Detection Systems to Mass Concentrations and Particle Size Distributions.
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