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Chilworth Technology(Process Safety Instruments)
Intermediate Scale Calorimeter(ICAL)
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Determination of Fire and Thermal Parameters by Using an Intermediate Scale Calorimeter (ICAL)

The Intermediate Scale Calorimeter (ICAL) is primarily used to determine the heat release rate of materials, products, and assemblies. Other parameters that are measured by ICAL are the effective heat of combustion, mass loss rate, time to ignition, smoke and gas production, emissivity, and surface temperature.

The ICAL was developed in 1992 and standardized in ASTM E-1623, and ISO TR 14696. The ISO version of the standard was adopted by BSI (BS ISO/TR 14696:1999). ICAL is currently being developed into a full ISO standard (it recently received a positive committee draft vote). In the US, the apparatus is being proposed as a method for testing exterior wall cladding systems by the ASTM E05.14 Subcommittee, and it will probably be used for regulatory purposes.

The ICAL can also be used for supporting fire investigations and for obtaining the fire parameters that are needed as inputs in fire models.

A complete ASTM E-1623 apparatus consists of the following main components, Radiant panel assembly capable of vertical orientation, sample holder, infrared pyrometer, weighing platform, radiant panel constant irradiance control system and exhaust collection system.

Intermediate Scale Calorimeter (ICAL)

As part of our ICAL apparatus, we supply a radiant panel (burner area approximately 1.75m wide, 1.40m high) that consists of a structural frame made of "strut channel", 30 ceramic-faced natural gas burners, including a stainless steel protective screen and necessary piping to distribute natural gas to the burners. This includes valves to shut off the three main pipes supplying the three rows of burners and a shut off valve and a fine regulating needle valve at each burner.

The control system for the constant irradiance radiant panel utilises a laminar flow element, a temperature compensating pressure transducer, a motor valve, a PID controller, thermocouples for the radiant panel and natural gas temperature measurements and necessary piping (piping and fittings from the natural gas source to the motor valve are not included). The specimen holder assembly (1m x 1m sample) is made up of wire igniters, variable transformer, a weighing platform (150kg ± 1g capacity) with a temperature protecting enclosure, cable between the platform and the terminal (12m) and a RS-232 data interface cable from the terminal to the computer or data acquisition system (5m).

Also supplied is a specimen holder trolley and tracks for specimen holder positioning. Additionally, we supply a specimen shield (water-cooled), heat flux meter, and a non-combustible board as a heat-flux calibration panel. The instrumentation also incorporates various safety features, including a device that stops the supply of natural gas to the burners when the burners are not ignited.

Optional: Exhaust collection system.

Input parameters that can be determined on the ICAL and are required by the wall fire spread and fire growth models:



▪ Absorptivity

▪ Thermal Conductivity

▪ Specific Heat

▪ Thermal Inertia

▪ Thermal Difusivity

▪ Ignition Temperature

▪ Apparent Thermal Inertia

▪ Surface Temperature During Burning

▪ Flame Flux in Pyrolyzing Area



▪ Heat Release Rate

▪ Heat of Gasification

▪ Effective Heat of Combustion

▪ Combustion Efficiency

▪ Flame Temperature

▪ Radiation Fraction

▪ Ration of Solid to Visible Flame Length

▪ Flame Length Coefficient and Power

▪ Heat Release Rate of Flame Per Unit

Width in Ignition Region



▪ Critical Temperatures for Downward

and Lateral Flame Spread

▪ Flame Spread Parameters for Downward

and Lateral Spread

▪ Flame Flux Ahead of Pyrolysis Region

▪ Maximum Specific Soot Extinction Area

▪ Average Specific Soot Extinction Area

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