IIE seminar - Martyn McLaggan


Seminar room 3.01, Alexander Graham Bell building, King's Buildings


Monday, September 22, 2014 - 13:00 to 14:00

Fire performance of Phase Change Materials
Martyn McLaggan, PhD candidate, University of Edinburgh

The drive towards sustainability means that modern buildings are full of innovative materials aimed at improving efficiency and reducing emissions. These are often complex materials and the fire behaviour and risk associated is often not fully understood. Phase Change Materials (PCMs) are a group of energy savings which absorb heat during the day by melting, then, at night, re-solidify and release their stored energy. The net result is that less cooling is needed during the day and les s heating is needed at night, and thus the building energy consumption is reduced. The materials needed to achieve this are included in wall and ceiling linings and are typically flammable but as of yet no study has been undertaken to investigate their behaviour in fire and hence their effect on the safety of building occupants. 

This project looks at the ignition characteristics, mass loss rate, gas emissions, heat release rate of PCMs when added into the matrix of other materials. This is done over a range of radiant heat fluxes and orientations in order to fully understand their behaviour in a wide variety of conditions. Furthermore, when added to porous media the effect on smouldering spread rate, front propagation, and dynamics of the smouldering front are also investigated. A unique testing methodology allows the study of both forward and opposed smouldering regimes in the same setup. 

A proper understanding of the fire performance and ignition characteristics PCMs allows understanding of how the material would behaviour in a range of realistic fire conditions, thereby enabling their usage in the built environment. 

Pizza will be available in the lobby area outside the seminar room from 12:45pm

The IIE seminar series is generously funded by the Engineering Graduate Society (EngGradSoc).

Event Contact Name: 

Martyn McLaggan

Event Contact Email: