Exploratory Research On Non-Thermal Damage Due To Electronics From Fires And Fire-Suppression Agents
F. Mowrer, and M. Pecht
Electronic equipment is expected to operate reliably under normal conditions as well ass under foreseeable abnormal conditions, particularly in life-critical and environmentally sensitive applications. One foreseeable abnormal condition to which electronic equipment may be subjected at least once during its life cycle is a fire environment. Such an environment may include the thermal and corrosive effects in the immediate vicinity of the fire and the non-thermal effects associated with smoke contamination, humidity and corrosion in remote locations.
Direct thermal effects are generally so severe that reasonable remedial
actions may not be feasible. Fortunately, such effects are frequently
restricted to a fairly small zone, often through the use of automatic fire
detection and suppression systems. On the other hand, the thermal
decomposition products of smoke and fire suppression agents resulting from
even a small fire may permeate a building and cause non-thermal damage
to electronic equipment in locations remote from the actual fire.
With ever-increasing reliance being placed on electronic equipment in all
types of applications and the consequent increase in value concentrations,
non-thermal damage from fires and fire suppression agents is a topic of
growing interest. The purpose of this exploratory research is to
characterize non-thermal damage mechanisms, consequences, and potential
preventive and remedial actions using a physics-of-failure approach.
article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.