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Publication Information

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Title: Critical mass flux for flaming ignition of dead, dry wood as a function of external radiant heat flux and oxidizer flow velocity

Author: McAllister, Sara; Finney, Mark; Cohen, Jack

Date: 2010

Source: In: Viegas, D. X., ed. Proceedings of the VI International Conference on Forest Fire Research; 15-18 November 2010; Coimbra, Portugal. Coimbra, Portugal: University of Coimbra. 10 p.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Extreme weather often contributes to crown fires, where the fire spreads from one tree crown to the next as a series of piloted ignitions. An important aspect in predicting crown fires is understanding the ignition of fuel particles. The ignition criterion considered in this work is the critical mass flux criterion – that a sufficient amount of pyrolysis gases must be generated for a diffusion flame to be established above the surface. An apparatus was built to measure the critical mass flux for sustained flaming ignition of woody materials for varying environmental conditions (heat flux and external oxidizer flow velocity). This paper reports the variation of measured critical mass fluxes for dead, dry poplar with externally applied radiant heat flux and oxidizer flow velocity. The critical mass flux is seen to agree qualitatively with those in the literature (around 1- 3 g/m2s) and to increase with increasing levels of heat flux and flow velocity. Future work will explore the changes in critical mass flux with fuel moisture content, species, and live fuels.

Keywords: ignition, critical mass flux, piloted ignition, flaming ignition, ignition criteria

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McAllister, Sara; Finney, Mark; Cohen, Jack. 2010. Critical mass flux for flaming ignition of dead, dry wood as a function of external radiant heat flux and oxidizer flow velocity. In: Viegas, D. X., ed. Proceedings of the VI International Conference on Forest Fire Research; 15-18 November 2010; Coimbra, Portugal. Coimbra, Portugal: University of Coimbra. 10 p.

 


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