Full-Scale Burn Test of a 2001 Full-Size Pickup Truck 2013-01-0214
Temperature measurements during a full-scale burn test of a 2001 full-size pickup truck showed that the fire progressed in distinct stages in both the engine and passenger compartments. Although the fire started in the engine compartment and had a relatively long growth period, when a localized area reached about 700°C, a distinct transition occurred where the rate of fire spread increased, leading to full involvement of all engine compartment combustibles. As the engine compartment became fully involved, a hot gas layer then accumulated at the ceiling of the passenger compartment, producing a strong vertical temperature gradient. When the temperature at the ceiling reached about 600°C, another distinct transition occurred where the rate of fire spread increased, leading to full involvement of the passenger compartment. The highest temperature during the test occurred within the engine compartment in an area that had the greatest fuel load, and not the area of origin. Although oxidation and melted aluminum patterns were created during the fire, neither was useful in identifying the area of origin of the fire.