Further Application of the Semenov Model to Evaluate the Possibility of Spontaneous Combustion in Tumble Dryers

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Courtesy of SAGE Publications

Previously, Jones applied the Semenov boundary conditions and thermal explosion theory to the problem of predicting spontaneous combustion of laundered clothing in a commercial tumble dryer. This problem is revisited here with a modification of the limiting assumptions made in the previous work. Relaxation of the limiting assumptions (i.e.,considering air flow through the drum) demonstrates that the self-heating processes within the laundered load are limited by the forced convection through the tumbling clothing load. The conclusions of this paper demonstrate that inclusion of this heat loss term soundly refutes the possibility of spontaneous combustion of an uncontaminated, tumbling clothing load. The critical temperature predictions indicate that even in the case of overheating of the garment load (dryer malfunction), the garment load temperature is unlikely to exceed its critical temperature in the absence of contamination.

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