Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Jay P. Gore

Committee Member 1

Bumsoo Han

Committee Member 2

Li Qiao


The study of a fire spread has always been very challenging and complex subject. Several properties of fire such as its flame spread rate, burning rate and radiation feedback should be known prior to any fire extinguishment operation. In this study, the flame spread rates of different liquid fuels are investigated at different initial temperatures using a novel temperature controlled experimental apparatus. Flame spread rates and different flame spreading regimes have been measured and analyzed for the conventional fuel Jet-A and three other alternative aviation fuels based on the processes such as Fischer-Tropsch-S8 (FT-S8), synthetic iso-paraffin (SIP) and hydro-processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA). A propane torch was used as an ignition source for the tests below the flashpoint of the fuel and an Nd:YAG laser was used as an ignition source for the tests above flashpoint of the fuel. Sixteen k-type thermocouples are installed along the length of the pan at equal distances to measure transient liquid-phase and gas-phase temperatures. Three different cameras namely, a Phantom v7.1 black and white high-speed camera, a Canon low-speed color camera, and a FLIR SC6100 high-speed infrared camera were used for recording flame propagation, measurement and calculation of the flame spread rate for the test fuel. Experiments were conducted for a wide range of liquids’ initial fuel temperatures ranging from 25°-100°C for Jet-A, HEFA, FT-S8 based jet fuel and from 110-130°C for SIP based jet fuel. Flame spread rate for all fuels increased exponentially with increasing fuel’s initial temperature. Flame spread rate is as low as ~6 cm/sec for Jet-A, HEFA, FT-S8 for 25°C initial fuel temperature and goes to as high as 160 cm/sec for 80°C initial fuel temperature. For SIP based jet fuel, flame spread rate is ~160 cm/sec for initial fuel temperature of 128°C.