The Combustion Dynamics Section is concerned with addressing Navy needs in the areas of chemistry, physics, and dynamics of combustion. This is a broad-based program including fundamental combustion concepts and processes, kinetic modeling, flame propagation, enhancement and inhibition phenomena, fire behavior, and fire protection engineering. The research scope spans studies in laboratory flow reactors and small burners to intermediate and real-scale combustion experiments. The Section assists in developing the Navy's short and long range fire protection research and development programs, including providing technical management for the Navy Halon Replacement Program and the Joint DoD-SERDP Next Generation Fire Suppression Technology Program. The Section also advises other agencies, foreign governments, and the United Nations Environment Program, on fire suppression matters.

The Section mission includes development of the mechanisms responsible for flame and fire extinction, scaling parameters, RDT & E on shipboard fire protection approaches, and developing design guidance for shipboard systems. Total flooding fire suppression systems following Code 6185 design guidance are being implemented on board the LPD-17 and CVN-76, the two newest class Navy ships being constructed. Over 60 Army watercraft engine room Halon 1301 systems have been replaced with the Code 6185 patented gaseous hybrid water spray cooling system (spaces up to 1700m3).

The Section addresses the fire safety needs of the Navy by providing an integrated basic through large scale applied approach. Section programs address:

  • Integration of detailed flame suppression in understanding full scale shipboard fire extinction.
  • Understanding water mist-flame interaction dynamics and developing guidance for water-mist based implementable shipboard fire suppression systems.
  • Fundamentals of fire fighting foam: how it functions, environmental concerns, and evaluation of future developments and improvements.
  • Serving as the designated evaluation entity for certifying fire fighting foams to the DoD Military Specification for AFFF.
  • Understanding high expansion foam: transport dynamics, foam-flame interaction dynamics, and developing guidance for usage and protection of obstructed spaces.

Selected Publications

2008 Sheinson, R. S., and B. A. Williams, "Preserving shipboard AFFF fire protection system performance while preventing hydrogen sulfide formation", Fire Technology, vol. 44, pp. 285-295, 2008.
2008 Sutton, J. A., B. T. Fisher, and J. W. Fleming, "A Laser Induced Fluorescence Measurement for Aqueous Fluid Flows with Improved Temperature Sensitivity", Experiments in Fluids, vol. 45, pp. 869-881, 2008.
2008 Sutton, J. A., B. A. Williams, and J. W. Fleming, "Laser-Induced Fluorescence Measurements of NCN in Low Pressure CH4/O2/N2 Flames and Its Role in Prompt NO Formation", Combustion and Flame, vol. 153, issue 3, pp. 465-478, 2008.
2008 "Towards Accurate Kinetic Modeling of Prompt NO Formation in Hydrocarbon Flames via the NCN Pathway", Combustion and Flame, vol. 154, pp. 630-636, 2008.
2007 Adiga, K. C., R. F. Hatcher, R. S. Sheinson, F. W. Williams, and S. Ayers, "A Computational and Experimental Study of Ultra Fine Water Mist as a Total Flooding Agent", Fire Safety Journal, vol. 42, issue 2, pp. 150-160, 2007.
2007 Awtry, A. R., B. T. Fisher, R. A. Moffatt, V. Ebert, and J. W. Fleming, "Simultaneous Diodo Laser Based In Situ Quantification of Oxygen, Carbon Monoxide, Water Vapor and Liquid Water in a Dense Water Mist Environment", Combustion Institute, vol. 31, pp. 799-806, 2007.
2007 Fisher, B. T., A. R. Awtry, R. S. Sheinson, and J. W. Fleming, "Flow Behavior Impact on the Suppression Effectiveness of sub-10-┬Ám Water Drops in Propane/Air Co-flow Non-Premixed Flames", Combustion Institute, vol. 31, pp. 2731-2739, 2007.
2007 Williams, B. A., and J. W. Fleming, "Experimental and Modeling Study of NO Formation in 10 Torr Methane and Propane Flames: Evidence for Additional Prompt-NO Precursors", Combustion Institute, vol. 31, pp. 1109-1117, 2007.
2006 Awtry, A. R., J. W. Fleming, and V. Ebert, "Simultaneous diode laser based in situ measurement of liquid water content and oxygen mole fraction in dense water mist environments", Optics Letters, vol. 31, issue 7, pp. 900-902, 2006.