Donghua University Flame Chamber System

Thermetrics (Seattle, Washington), is pleased to announce the installation and commissioning of a sophisticated Flame Test Manikin and Burn Chamber system at Donghua University in Shanghai, China. What makes the system so advanced? First, the manikin is fully articulated, with joints at the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. Better yet, the manikin shell was constructed using a special ceramic composite material that is completely flame-proof and will not degrade with use. This is a significant advantage over manikins constructed using high-temperature epoxy materials, because the required nude calibration burns prior to each test will carbonize/erode the surface of these manikins - leading to periodic repair and replacement issues.

Also worthy of note is the Flame Test Manikin’s head connection point. All power and communication cables are routed through a mounting post at the top of the manikin head for less garment interference and improved cable protection. Our engineers even developed a new, robust copper-disk calorimeter sensor with ceramic shell sockets for more accurate measurement, more reliable performance, and easier maintenance. Sensor calibration has been simplified through use of a hand-held radiant heat gun that allows for fast, in-situ calibrations. All-in-all, Thermetric's new Flame Test Manikin is setting a new standard for flame test research capabilities and performance.

But the manikin is not the only part of Donghua University’s installation worth talking about - the new modular burn chamber we designed is also quite an achievement. Developed to fit inside an existing (interior) building space at the university, the burn chamber is a fully ventilated, fire-resistant enclosure with viewing windows plus an access door with a window, housing the manikin and a 12-burner torch array. Chamber size is larger than the ASTM F1930 minimum requirements to provide sufficient space for uniform flame exposure, better combustion and ventilation, and enough room for safe movement around the manikin without accidentally jarring and displacing the burners. A system of propane gas piping, pressure regulators, valves, and pressure sensors safely delivers fuel to the ignition system and its 12 exposure torches, allowing the system to generate the range of heat fluxes necessary to meet the requirements of ASTM F1930.

The burn chamber is controlled using a highly automated control system with safety interlocks designed to protect the system and its operators. Also of interest is that the chamber was constructed and tested in the USA, then dis-assembled, shipped, and re-assembled onsite at Donghua University.

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