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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1024; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091024

Modeling Burns for Pre-Cooled Skin Flame Exposure

Department of Engineering, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 5528 Haugesund, Norway
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 3 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract

On a television show, a pre-cooled bare-skinned person (TV host) passed through engulfing kerosene flames. The assumption was that a water film should protect him during 0.74 s flame exposure in an environment of 86 kW/m2 heat flux. The TV host got light burn inflammation on the back, arms and legs. The present work studies skin temperatures and burn damage integral of such dangerous flame exposure. The skin temperature distribution during water spray pre-cooling, transport to the flames, flame exposure, transport to the water pool, and final water pool cooling is modelled numerically. Details of the temperature development of the skin layers are presented, as well as the associated damage integral. It is shown that 5 °C water spray applied for a 30 s period pre-cooled the skin sufficiently to prevent severe skin injury. Soot marks indicate that the water layer evaporated completely in some areas resulting in skin flame contact. This exposed dry skin directly to the flames contributing significantly to the damage integral. It is further analyzed how higher water temperature, shorter pre-cooling period or longer flame exposure influence the damage integral. It is evident that minor changes in conditions could lead to severe burns and that high heat flux levels at the end of the exposure period are especially dangerous. This flame stunt should never be repeated. View Full-Text
Keywords: flame exposure; wet skin; pre-cooled; thermal injury; numerical modeling flame exposure; wet skin; pre-cooled; thermal injury; numerical modeling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Log, T. Modeling Burns for Pre-Cooled Skin Flame Exposure. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1024.

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