Cooling characteristics of hot oil pool by water mist during fire suppression

Zhigang Liu, Don Carpenter, Andrew K. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Generally water is not favored for use in suppressing hot liquid fuel fires due to concerns of vapor explosion and boil-over, which could present potential danger to nearby personnel or firefighters. This paper reports on a series of full-scale fire experiments in which water mist was used in extinguishing large hot cooking oil fires. It was shown that water mist not only extinguished large fires effectively but also cooled hot oil from its ignition point (up to 360 °C) to below its flash point (200 °C) in a short period of time and prevented the fire from re-igniting. No vapor explosion was observed in the experiments when water droplets touched the hot oil whose temperature was higher than the superheat-limited temperature of water. A boiling layer of mixed bubbles, water droplets and oil was formed in the hot oil after all flames were extinguished, as water droplets boiled, bubbled and expanded in the hot oil. No boil-over or spillage of the oil over the container was observed in the experiments when water mist was discharged into the oil at high temperature (>300 °C) but boil-over did occur in experiments when the water mist was discharged into oil at a relatively moderate temperature (∼200 °C). In this paper, the mechanisms of cooling of hot oil by water mist are investigated, and the formation and development of the boiling layer during cooling are analyzed both experimentally and theoretically. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalFire Safety Journal
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Boiling and boil-over
  • Cooling
  • Fire extinguishment
  • Fires
  • Hot liquid fuel
  • Water mist

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