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A Finite Element Analysis on the Modeling of Heat Release Rate, as Assessed by a Cone Calorimeter, of Char Forming Polycarbonate

D. Statler[1], and R. Gupta[2]
[1]Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center, South Charleston, WV, USA
[2]Department of Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

During the pyrolysis and combustion of polymers, heat is released and is typically measured with a cone calorimeter to better assess the polymer’s flammability.

Modeling heat release rate, as assessed by cone calorimetry, has not been extensively studied for char-forming polymers, such as, polycarbonate. Here we determine the heat release rate with the help of a one-dimensional transient finite element model using COMSOL Multiphysics.

This model considers the heat and mass transport phenomena taking place throughout the thickness of the polymer and the growing char that is forming during the pyrolysis and combustion reaction. It accurately predicts the heat release rate curve for char forming polycarbonate.