Determination of fire signatures by thermogravimetric analysis with fourier transform infrared detection

Randy Lee Vander Wal, Jane Fujiyama-Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Next-generation fire detectors aboard spacecraft will need broad detection capabilities. Gases, as opposed to particulates, will be targeted as they are often the earliest signatures of a smoldering or flaming event. In the present study, thermal gravimetric analysis-Fourier transform infrared (TGA-FTIR), a so-called hyphenated technique, is being used to identify the gases evolved during smoldering and flaming combustion of polymers approved for spacecraft use. Performed at a constant heating rate, the gases evolved during the temperature ramp are detected by FTIR. Comparison against reference library spectra permits identification of the various functional groups of gaseous components and molecular identification of smaller species. In our work, FTIR spectra were collected at several points along the TGA curve, beginning with the initiation of sample weight loss and at subsequent points in the temperature ramp. Conclusions are drawn, summarizing the changes that occur in the stages of decomposition of the resins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-117
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Applied Fire Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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