PYROLYSIS UNDER EXTREME HEAT FLUX CHARACTERIZED BY MASS LOSS AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL SCANS
A variety of energy sources produce intense radiative flux (>>100kW/m2) well beyond those typical of fire environments. Such energy sources include directed energy, nuclear weapons, and propellant fires. Studies of material response to irradiation typically focus on much lower heat flux; characterization of materials at extreme flux is limited. Various common cellulosic and synthetic-polymer materials were exposed to intense irradiation (up to 3MW/m2) using the Solar Furnace at Sandia National Laboratories. When irradiated, these materials typically pyrolyzed and ignited after a short time (<1 s). The mass loss for each sample
was recorded; the topology of the pyrolysis crater was reconstructed using a commercial three-dimensional scanner. The scans spatially resolved the volumetric displacement, mapping this response to the radially varying flux and fluence. These experimental data better characterize material properties and responses, such as the pyrolysis efflux rate, aiding the development of pyrolysis and ignition models at extreme heat flux.