THE FLAMMABILITY OF SKIN AND HAIR IN OXYGEN-ENRICHED ATMOSPHERES
Final rept. 1 Nov 1967-1 Jun 1968
ATLANTIC RESEARCH CORP ALEXANDRIA VA
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The flammability of hair and skin from white suckling pigs and from humans was studied in atmospheres ranging in oxygen concentration from 20.9 air to 100. Neither pigskin nor human skin would support combustion in pure oxygen at 258 mm. Hg except in the presence of an artifact consisting of exposed subdermal fat and local depletion of heat sink capability. Although pig bristles and human hair burn rapidly in pure oxygen, differences observed in flame spread rates and burning times indicate that skin of suckling pigs is not an adequate simulant for human skin in terms of response to an ignition source in pure oxygen. Methods of protection against ignition were studied with pigskin samples. The helium concentration necessary to prevent flame spread at 1 atm. total pressure is 75 by volume. Salves and creams are effective against flame spread when the amounts applied are much larger than those normally used. The values obtained from the present work on unshaved pigskin samples to determine flame spread rate and critical helium concentration for zero flame spread are completely consistent with reported values for other types of combustibles.
- Safety Engineering
- Life Support Systems