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One-sided Flame Spread Phenomena of Silicone Rubber Coated Fiberglass Fabric
As an experimental necessity, past flame spread studies have relied on fast burning cellulosic papers. For the longer duration tests planned for the International Space Station a 50% fiberglass, 50% cotton composite silicone rubber coated fiberglass fabric is better suited for the novel fuel feeding system in the compact hardware design of a current microgravity combustion experiment. The fabric's combustion characteristics in normal gravity include unexpected cases where a flame can be sustained on one side of the fuel. One-sided flames are smaller in size than their two-sided counterparts, and propagate at half the speed. Surface temperature distributions were measured using infrared imaging and indicated a high temperature region caused by the non-flammable fiberglass. Breaching the fiberglass matrix made it possible for the flame to transfer to the other side of the fuel, suggesting that the fiberglass matrix acts as a flame arrester.