## Description

The research presented below intends to investigate the role of Poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) fuel thickness on the spread rate of a downward spreading flame, the thermal radiation being emitted by the flame, and to compare results for both microgravity and normal gravity. To simplify the complex problem of flame spread over solid fuels, the concept of the thermal regime is used to find a constant spread rate for a given fuel thickness. In the thermal regime the opposed flow velocity is high enough to neglect losses due to radiation from the flame but still small enough to not affect the flame through finite rate kinetics. The microgravity results were performed on the International Space Station in the Bass-II Microgravity Science Glove box. This 7.62 cm square duct allows the variation of opposed flow velocity while holding pressure, oxygen and nitrogen constant during each run. The runs are recorded using a digital video camera for spread rate analysis and thermal radiation is read using a radiometer. For normal gravity, SDSU's Flame Stabilizer was used to acquire the downward spread rate from video analysis and thermal radiation is read by a radiometer developed here at SDSU. With the use of a Matlab image analysis code, the videos are analyzed to obtain the spread rate for each fuel thickness. When compared, these results show good experimental agreement for spread rate and thermal radiation. These results, along with known thermodynamic properties and scaling analysis are used to refine the de Ris-Delichatsios formula for the thermal regime. With very few examples of the de Ris-Delichatsios formula being matched to experimental results it is hard to define where the thin regime ends and where the thick regime starts. The refined formula is applied to both the thin and thick regimes to show approximately where the transition lies between the two and compared to experimental results. This transition zone in both microgravity and normal gravity is of great interest for researchers trying to predict the behavior of flame spread both here on earth and in space aboard the International Space Station.