Mechanism of burning of fully-developed compartment fires

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Journal titleCombustion and Flame
Pages265273; # of pages: 9
Subjectpyrolysis; fire; ventilation; air flow; oxidizers; rooms; Fire
AbstractIt has been widely believed that in ventilation-controlled building fires a shortage of air limits the rate of burning. This concept is critically examined and proved untenable. Other possible mechanisms by which the flow rate of air into a compartment may control the rate of burning ( pyrolysis) of cellulosic fuel are examined and a plausible model presented. It is suggested that oxidation of surface char is the link by which the rate of pyrolysis is related to the rate of entry of air. The proposed model provides conclusions compatible with present knowledge of both ventilation-controlled and fuel-surface-controlled fires. It is emphasized, in conclusion, that the model is probably not applicable to compartments in which the fuel consists predominantly of non-charring plastics.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number16722
NPARC number20375010
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Record identifierda59c99e-b492-48f3-b564-98ba22d9577b
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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