U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 272–281;



A thermal model is developed for the response of carbon-epoxy composite laminates in fire environments. The model is based on a porous media description that includes the effects of gas transport within the laminate along with swelling. Model comparisons are conducted against the data from Quintiere et al. [34]. Verifications are conducted for both coupon level and intermediate scale one-sided heating tests. Comparisons of the heat release rate (HRR) and time-to-ignition as well as the final products (mass fractions, volume percentages, porosity, etc.) are conducted. Overall, the agreement between available the data and model is good considering the simplified approximations to account for flame heat flux. A sensitivity study using a newly developed swelling model shows the importance of accounting for laminate expansion for the prediction of burnout. Reasonable agreement is observed between the model and data of the final product composition that includes porosity, mass fractions and volume expansion ratio.