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Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc.
Automotive Fire Analysis: An Engineering Approach / Edition 2

Automotive Fire Analysis: An Engineering Approach / Edition 2

by Gregory J. Barnett


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Data involving post-crash vehicle fires has historically been involved in litigation and therefore is difficult to obtain. Outside research funding goes toward personal injury prevention studies rather than property damage prevention studies, the category into which auto fires generally fall. It is difficult and expensive for manufacturers to test for the possibility of auto fires before models are released, and if studies are done, the data is usually not readily available for fear of litigation. As fires are chaotic events it is difficult to statically model, as each fire is likely to be unique. Fire departments are not called in on the majority of auto fires and fire department and arson investigation personnel are not generally trained in the specifics of motor vehicles, so little information is available there. As auto manufacturers increasingly work toward fuel efficiency, the nature, incidence and severity of collision and non-crash auto fires is likely to worsen.

In Automotive Fire Analysis: An Engineering Approach, Second Edition, experienced field engineer Gregory Barnett points out common problems with the way automotive fires are investigated. Mr. Barnett has compiled the research undertaken to date by manufacturers, standards organizations and private institutions into one compact guide. Mr. Barnett guides you through the proper techniques of vehicle fire analysis and investigation, typical vehicle fires and burn patterns, and indicators of arson in auto fires. He teaches you how to tell the difference between flame-resistant and flammable materials, the flammable liquids contained in cars, auto electrical systems and related fires, and more. This editioncontains a brand new section on alternative fuel vehicles and the types of fires associated with them. He covers the current safety standards for autos, in the United States, in a clear and easy to follow manner. He gives you important information on functioning as a witness in court on auto fire cases.

This edition also contains a brand new DVD with additional information and hours of video footage on auto fires and auto fire investigation.

Topics include
Codes and standards for automotive safety
Identifying flame retardant compounds
Fire behavior
Signs of arson
Determining burn temperature
Finding burn patterns
Exhaust system fires
Underhood fires
Electric system fires
Flammable liquids
Flammable and flame resistant plastics
Alternative fuel vehicles
Manufacturer liability
Functioning as an expert witness

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781933264356
Publisher: Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/2007
Pages: 130
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Gregory J. Barnett, A.E., ASE has a career spanning over three decades as a technician, service engineer, field engineer, and automotive technology instructor. His experience is in both manufacturing and retail automotive.
Currently, he operates a field engineering and expert witness service offering hands-on engineering level diagnosis on automotive and heavy truck claims for major insurance carriers and attorneys.

Table of Contents

1.1Background of the Problem1
1.2Reasons for Lack of Information on Vehicle Fire2
1.3Statement of the Problem3
1.4Purpose of the Study4
1.5Definitions of Terms4
1.6Limitations of the Study12
2A History of Codes and Standards15
2.1Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 302: Interior Flammability17
2.2Society of Automotive Engineers Standard J36919
2.3Society of Automotive Engineers Standard J134421
2.4International Standards Organization Number 1400422
2.5International Standards Organization Number 1043-123
2.6International Standards Organization Number 1043-223
2.7International Standards Organization Number 1043-424
2.8International Standards Organization Number 162924
2.9International Standards Organization Number 1146925
2.10Deutsch Institut fur Normung Number 26026
2.11American Society of Testing and Materials Standard 160026
2.12International Standards Institute Standards Numbers 472 and 108726
3Automotive Fire Mechanisms31
3.1Fire Behavior Basics32
3.2Exhaust System Fires33
AForeign objects on the exhaust39
BTruck bed floorboard fires from the exhaust40
CUnderhood fluids41
DOnboard flammable liquids43
3.3Electrical Systems and Fire53
ABattery fire57
BAlternator fires60
CStarter motor fires63
DHVAC and other electric motor fire64
EEngine ignition coil64
FElectrical switch fire65
HWiring looms67
IFuse and relay panel fire70
KElectric seat track or seat heaters72
LHigh current flow computer modules75
3.4Add-On and Optional Equipment77
3.5Normal Burn Temperatures and Burn Patterns81
3.6Arson Indicators87
3.7Signs of Arson89
AWhitish coating89
BLow burn patterns90
CMelted pools of glass91
DExtreme consumption of polymerics91
EFire burning under engine or floor pan92
FFire in different compartments92
GDestruction of steering column93
HDestruction of large aluminum castings93
4Automotive Composites97
4.1Early Plastics97
4.2Thermoplastics and Thermosetting Plastics98
4.3Olefins and Polyolefins98
4.4Rubber and Rubber Components99
4.5Polymerics and Nanocomposites99
5The Engineer in the Courtroom107
5.1Proper Investigation Techniques107
5.2Proper Scene Photography110
5.3Forensic Tools113
5.4Subrogation Issues117
5.6The Superior Court Action119
About the Author133

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