Full-Scale Burn Test of a 2007 Cargo Van 2016-01-1403
Data from a full-scale vehicle burn test involving a cargo van illustrated how temperature distributions changed over time, the manner in which fire spread, and how patterns produced correlated to the origin of the fire. The fire was initiated on the driver’s side of the engine compartment and initially grew slowly with the high-temperature zone near the area of origin. Once the peak temperature reached about 540°C, the rate of flame spread increased such that over the next 4 minutes the fire spread across the entire engine compartment. In the next stage of the fire, which occurred shortly after full involvement of the engine compartment, the fire spread into the passenger compartment. A strong vertical temperature gradient developed from the ceiling to the floor and as the passenger compartment became fully involved, the passenger compartment temperatures both increased and became more uniform. After the interior became fully involved, the fire spread to the rear tires and the fire self-extinguished at about 90 minutes. Although oxidation and melted aluminum patterns were created during the fire, neither correlated well with the origin.