Engineering Guide for Estimating Material Pyrolysis Properties for Fire Modeling

By Mihyun Esther Kim and Nicholas Dembsey

Final Project Report 28 September 2012


The authors greatly appreciate the funding support from NIST Award Number 60NANB8D8106 (Federal Program Officer Dr. Kevin McGrattan). Additionally, the authors appreciate the valuable background information provided by Dr. Marc Janssens of Southwest Research Institute. Dr. Janssens’ information made a significant contribution to Chapters 3 and 4, and the related appendices as well as making a useful contribution to Chapter 5 and the related Appendix.

The following persons should be recognized as they contributed to the development of this Guide by participating in pyrolysis modeling round robins and/or providing valuable comments on various drafts of the Guide.

The names are listed in alphabetical order: Nicolas Bal, Marcos Chaos, Craig Hofmeister, Simo Hostikka, Chris Lautenberger, Jamie Lord, Anna Matala, Alex Morgan, Haejun Park, Eduardo Puente, Guillermo Rein, Stanislav Stoliarov, Robert Webster, Christopher Wood, and Young-Geun You.

Background Scholarship

The following peer reviewed journal articles make up the foundation of the Guide:

  • Kim, E., Dembsey, N.A., and Shivkumar, S., "Evaluating Effects of Applying Different Kinetic Models to Pyrolysis Modeling of Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer Composites", Fire and Materials, DOI:10.1002/fam.2239
  • Kim, E., and Dembsey, N.A., "Evaluation of Pyrolysis Parameters for Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer Composites Based on Multi-objective Optimization", Fire and Materials, DOI: 10.1002/fam.2262
  • Kim, E., and Dembsey, N.A.,"Parameter Estimation for Comprehensive Pyrolysis Modeling: Guidance and Critical Observations", Fire Technology, DOI: 10.1007/s10694-014-0399-0

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The authors of the Guide are very interested in any comments or feedback that you would be willing to provide. We are interested in how it is used by yourself or your organization (e.g. teaching, research, application), strengthens, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement.  Please send comments and feedback to Nicholas Dembsey,