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Critical mass flux for flaming ignition of wood as a function of external radiant heat flux and moisture content
McAllister, S.; Finney, M.; Cohen, J. 2011. Critical mass flux for flaming ignition of wood as a function of external radiant heat flux and moisture content. In: 7th US National Technical Meeting of the Combustion Institute; Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA; 20-23 March 2011. 1: 1698-1704.
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 poplar with externally applied radiant heat flux and moisture content. 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 moisture content. Future work will explore the changes in critical mass flux with species, thickness, and live fuels.
Keywords: critical mass flux, ignition, radiant heat, crown fires
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Title: RMRS Other
Publications: Critical mass flux for flaming ignition of wood
as a function of external radiant heat flux and moisture content
Electronic Publish Date: March 8, 2012
Last Update: March 8, 2012
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