A simple model for predicting polymer ignition in a thermogravimetric analyzer

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Ignition of three polymers (PP, PS and PVA) in air was studied using a DuPont 951 thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA). Time to ignition and ignition temperature were reported as a function of furnace temperature which varied between 550-700°C. The suitability of a simplified model to predict time to ignition was tested. The predicted value of time to ignition was heavily dependent on the assumed sample layer thickness (D). For example, when the average particle diameter, dp, was ~0.5 mm, assigning D a value of D = 2 dp (i.e. two layers of particles in sample pan) produced a good estimate of the time to ignition. However for dp ~1 mm, a good estimate was obtained when D was chosen equal to dp. The results indicated a deviation from experimental values of less than 15% at 700° C. © 1987.

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Thermochimica Acta