Infrared Technology for Measuring The Effect of Fire on Materials

Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are developing an infrared measuring method to analyze the thermal properties and resistance to fire of composite materials. This advance would have applications in aerospace engineering and other areas where fire safety requires that the "composite" materials withstand high temperatures.

The main problem associated with measuring the effects of fire on materials lies in the temperature of the flames, which reaches over 1000 C and can obscure the actual temperature of the material. In addition, there is the problem of the high concentration of gasses (CO2, H2O and others), which makes it difficult to obtain clear images of the sample being subjected to fire. In order to solve this problem, the UC3M scientists who developed this method used a measurement that utilizes the infrared spectrum. "To do this, we had to use an infrared camera, properly set, spectrally, for measuring the temperature, as well as image processing that allowed us to determine the measurement, discounting the flame's fanning effects", explains one of the authors, Fernando López, a tenured professor in the Physics Department at UC3M.
 
This research, which was carried out in collaboration with the Airbus Systems Laboratory, and which has been published in the journal Measurement Science and Technology, has applications in the aeronautical industry, where it is essential to know what effects fire will have on the composite materials (fiberglass, carbon fiber, etc.) that are used in airplanes. Moreover, this method could be applied in other sectors where a material's resistance to fire is crucial, such as in rail and land transport or fire protection in housing.
 
The advantage of using this method of measurement is that it can be done without any direct contact with the material, almost instantly (in milliseconds) and under severe conditions (when flames are present), where other systems of measurement cannot be used, the researchers explain. The professor states that, "The main objective is to quickly and precisely measure the real temperature of the sample over the entire surface, including the part that is hidden by the flames, and to do this from a distance." And he adds, "All of this, as a function of time, and taking into consideration the rise and fall of the temperature over time."
 
Another line of investigation currently being developed by these scientists from the Laboratorio del Infrarrojo (LIR – Infrared Laboratory) at the UC3M is one that allows them to measure, from a distance, the thermodynamic parameters of materials (emissivity and diffusivity, coefficients of conductivity and specific heat), by means of an infrared analysis of the image. In addition, they are studying ways in which to use their ability to detect hidden subsurface defects that can be generated by fire or other causes.
 
Measuring temperatures in the presence of flames that are "dirty" based on their subproducts, includes a strong infrared component of absorption and emission that must be discounted in a very precise manner, according to the researchers. This technology falls within the spectral methods, which the LIR-UC3M specializes in, that is, those that are based on properties that depend on the wavelength.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Busy South Africa Building Integrates Custom Access Control System

    Nicol Corner, based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa, is home to a six-star fitness club, prime office space, and an award-winning rooftop restaurant. This is the first building in South Africa to have its glass façade fully incorporate fritted glazing, saving 35% on energy consumption. Nicol Corner (Pty) LTD has developed a landmark with sophisticated design and unique architecture by collaborating with industry-leading partners and specifying world-class equipment throughout the project. This includes installing a high-spec, bespoke security and access control system. Read Now

  • Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3

  • 4K Video Decoder

    3xLOGIC’s VH-DECODER-4K is perfect for use in organizations of all sizes in diverse vertical sectors such as retail, leisure and hospitality, education and commercial premises. 3