Author Topic: On board fires  (Read 3283 times)

Czorio

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2014, 08:32:47 am »
Well, unless your armor is made of aluminum foil, or the fire is ridiculously hot your metal bits will be fine. That said, imagine the havoc it would wreak on your heat management.
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Strait Raider

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2014, 10:55:47 am »
WRT Cy83r and microgravity, fires do still burn. They burn slower, but also combust at a lower temperature and use less oxygen than fires in earth gravity.

http://www.space.com/13766-international-space-station-flex-fire-research.html

Turning off the gravity could be a useful method to slow the spread of a fire, but there are still lots of things that could get oxygen circulating. Pressure differences between rooms, leaking atmosphere, or even just the movement of people through the room would create eddies that would fan the flames to some degree, and if any maneuvering or acceleration is done, those G-forces will allow convection to work normally.

We could say "turn on the inertial dampeners too", but that's getting into a whole lot of variables for a very specific scenario. Maybe there could be a blanket "50% fire spread speed in rooms without artificial gravity" (maybe with a different visual flame effect if they want to get fancy), but it could be a lot of work for something without much effect on gameplay.

I think there is a much bigger fire-related issue to worry about. Self-oxidizing fuels or oxidizers in conjunction with fuel can burn VERY intensely (thermite is an example) and can burn in oxygen-deprived air, underwater, or in a vacuum. They are also very difficult to extinguish.

Since the common answer to fire in space games seems to be "depressurize the room", I think it might be interesting to have certain components/materials flagged as "oxidizing" and increase the intensity of fire on/around them and allow it to persist in a vacuum.

Me2005

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2014, 11:03:48 am »
Well, unless your armor is made of aluminum foil, or the fire is ridiculously hot your metal bits will be fine. That said, imagine the havoc it would wreak on your heat management.

Not generally true.

This is what happens to large structural steel beams in a typical fire:


Keep in mind aluminum, a great spacecraft material, has a much lower melting point. Titanium, also good, wouldn't suffer from this at all. Steel may melt into liquid at a few thousand degrees F, but it becomes worthless as a structural material at only a few hundred degrees F. Not to break anyone's conspiracy bubbles, but that is how a steel building like the WTC could be weakened to the point of collapse from a fire that was "only" several hundred degrees.

It's possible that there wouldn't be any force to cause such a deformity (no gravity). It's also possible that your pressurized hull would rupture like a soda can at the barest glancing blow or acceleration, and it'd stay melty-hot for quite some time without a way to get rid of the heat. Also, many other substances you'd find in a spaceship (plastics, exotic metals, hydrogen fuel) ignite at temperatures far lower than the ones I'd expect in a regular fire.

Also, I saw a thing on NOVA about how JPL is testing anti-meteorite armor that is mostly foam and (what appears to be) aluminum foil (basically a Whipple shield with solid material between Whipple plates). So it is actually possible most of your ship is not steel but is, instead, aluminum foil.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 11:05:38 am by Me2005 »
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Cy83r

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2014, 06:19:22 pm »
WRT Cy83r and microgravity, fires do still burn. They burn slower, but also combust at a lower temperature and use less oxygen than fires in earth gravity.

http://www.space.com/13766-international-space-station-flex-fire-research.html

Turning off the gravity could be a useful method to slow the spread of a fire, but there are still lots of things that could get oxygen circulating. Pressure differences between rooms, leaking atmosphere, or even just the movement of people through the room would create eddies that would fan the flames to some degree, and if any maneuvering or acceleration is done, those G-forces will allow convection to work normally.

We could say "turn on the inertial dampeners too", but that's getting into a whole lot of variables for a very specific scenario. Maybe there could be a blanket "50% fire spread speed in rooms without artificial gravity" (maybe with a different visual flame effect if they want to get fancy), but it could be a lot of work for something without much effect on gameplay.

I think there is a much bigger fire-related issue to worry about. Self-oxidizing fuels or oxidizers in conjunction with fuel can burn VERY intensely (thermite is an example) and can burn in oxygen-deprived air, underwater, or in a vacuum. They are also very difficult to extinguish.

Since the common answer to fire in space games seems to be "depressurize the room", I think it might be interesting to have certain components/materials flagged as "oxidizing" and increase the intensity of fire on/around them and allow it to persist in a vacuum.
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Czorio

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2014, 02:31:45 am »
- snip -

Fair enough, I guess this is a toss-up between gameplay and realism.
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Cy83r

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2014, 10:55:45 am »
Fair enough, I guess this is a toss-up between gameplay and realism.
Not necessarily, IIRC the management has made comments about including a fairly detailed heating system, the main damage fire does to superstructure elements is heating and weakening them.  Mind you, these are super-materials, fabricated in a form that perfectly rehardens after exposure to high levels of heat, but that's not to say they won't be weakened while they are heated.  Heat resistance and thermal conductivity are just another two aspects the devs and mods can use to distinguish two equally good materials from one another and provide a drawback to otherwise superior materials.
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

RLS0812

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2014, 02:19:16 am »
Couldn't I just open a bay door and depressurize the affected area ?

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Cy83r

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2014, 05:46:31 am »
Couldn't I just open a bay door and depressurize the affected area ?
It'll still be hot, just all the stuff (probably fire) that was adding more heat will be gone, unless the [fire] doesn't need oxygen to burn, then depressurisation won't do anything aside from isloate the heat-source to whatever is touching it. You'd have to douse any chemical fires, shut the airlocks/bay doors, and then repressurise the room with air (or water or coolant vapors) to begin proper cooling.
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

Hyperion

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2014, 01:48:23 pm »
What happened to the good old sprinkler systems? This time, just flood the whole room with non-conducting, high enthalpy of vaporization fluid from the coolant tanks to douse the flames and soak up the heat.
I don't want to go "Oh! there's shots going my way! No big deal I'm the U.S.S Bloody Massive, It won't even leave a scratch." *boom* "SHIT! BIG DEAL! HUGE DEAL!"

Czorio

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2014, 08:08:00 am »
Foam it up, have a soap party afterwards.
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Niwantaw

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2014, 12:37:53 pm »
I just had a mental image of people in space suits having a foam party in a room that's got one of it's walls missing due to hull breach.

...Heavier crew casualties than the actual battle.
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Czorio

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Re: On board fires
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2014, 02:15:46 pm »
Totally worth it.
"If you're in an equal fight, your tactics suck."

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