Chapter 17. Predicting the Occurrence of Combustion in the Production of Polyurethane Foam During the Storage Process for Tempering


Tsvetomila M. Damyanova, Yordan S. Dulev and Gabriela I. Ilieva
Faculty of Fire Safety and Civile Protection, Academy of Ministry of Interior, Sofia, Bulgaria

Part of the book: The Challenges of Disaster Planning, Management, and Resilience


Objective: This report analyzes the thermodynamic relationships of “freshly produced” polyurethane foam and its secondary ingredients. The reason for which was a fire in a warehouse for subsequent tempering of a finished commercial product. Combustion and/or thermal decomposition products of polyurethanes are among the most toxic substances directly threatening the life of the population. Research problem: Modeling the thermodynamics of combustion of a commercial product is extremely difficult due to the large number of isomeric molecular forms that are difficult to distinguish from classical science. Methodology: An adapted model of methodological scheme is applied, describing the fine specifics of the relationship between theoretical (statistical) and applied thermodynamics. The object of the study are: polyols, isocyanates, crosslinking agents, fillers, lubricants, catalysts, free water and carbon dioxide. Results: The general functional dependence (presented in graphical form) between the main thermodynamic variables describing the process of self-ignition in the specific case is constructed. Conclusion: Incomplete technological inhibition of the catalyst is the leading cause of self-ignition of polyurethane foam during the storage process for tempering. Applicability of the results: The modern control of the technological processes is easily synchronized with the fire-fighting installations. Thermal chambers could be set to a more sensitive mode at certain hours of chanting. If necessary, automatic systems would work by correcting factors of the storage environment, such as humidity, temperature, ventilation, etc. These actions would lead to overconfidence in avoiding fires and disasters, especially in urban environments.

Keywords: polyurethane, storage, production process, self-ignition, PM7, TD-DFT


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