To better understand the fire risk of nitrocellulose (NC) used for the civil industry, the combustion properties of NC-alcohol humectant (isopropanol and ethanol) and -plasticizer (dibutyl phthalate) mixtures were investigated experimentally in this work. Flames with considerable sparks were observed for nitrocellulose-humectant samples, while the nitrocellulose-plasticizer mixture exhibited extremely bright flames without obvious sparks. The flame heights for all the samples were determined from the video record. According to the fundamentals of fire phenomena, a simplified model to predict the heat release rates of current NC samples was developed based on the flame height data. By combining the experiment results by ISO 5660 and stoichiometric equations, the critical parameter
is recalculated as 3251, 3228, and 3201 kJ/kg for NC-I, NC-E, and NC-D samples, respectively. Ultimately, the heat release rates predicted by the modified model coincided well with that measured by ISO 5660.
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