The Motor Vehicle in the Post-Crash Environment, An Understanding of Ignition Properties of Spilled Fuels 1999-01-0086
To date, the flammability of common automotive fluids under real-world conditions has not been well characterized for general use in the automotive community. This paper presents the results of a research program aimed at providing a greater understanding of the potential fire hazards of common fluids carried on board today's vehicles. A literature review was conducted to define the ignition properties of common automotive fluids as determined very precisely in the lab environment. A test program was then established to gain insight into the ignition properties of common automotive fluids under some real-world conditions. Automotive engine and exhaust components were used to create a test mechanism which realistically represented the environment, temperatures, and surfaces to which vehicle fluids may be subjected The reported laboratory results are compared to the test data. Tests were conducted on twelve fluids with and without ignition sources present. The results of the project state whether each of these fluids was found to ignite under the test conditions. For each of the fluids which did ignite, the lowest temperature at which ignition occurred is listed. Results show that for the variety of potentially spilled automotive fluids, a wide range of ignition properties exists.