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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 23(8)

Bulk and particle properties of pine needle fuel beds – influence on combustion

P. A. Santoni A D, P. Bartoli A, A. Simeoni B and J. L. Torero C

A Laboratoire SPE UMR-CNRS 6134, Université de Corse, Campus Grimaldi, BP 52, F-20250 Corte, France.
B BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering, Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, King’s Buildings, EH9 3JL, Edinburgh, UK.
C School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: santoni@univ-corse.fr

International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(8) 1076-1086 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF13079
Submitted: 16 May 2013  Accepted: 29 May 2014   Published: 1 December 2014

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This paper presents a study to assess the influence of pine needle layer characteristics on combustion for three pine species of the Mediterranean region of France. It identifies the key parameters that explain the combustion of this fuel bed component. A relationship between permeability of the litter layer, fuel bed porosity and needle geometrical properties is presented. Although permeability was found to influence the rate of heat release from the combustion of litter independent of litter species, this was not the case for litter layers with similar mass and porosity. This study also stresses the important role of particle properties on their time to piloted ignition. The surface-to-volume ratio (SVR) of the species is the essential parameter driving the time to ignition as it defines the thermal thickness of single needles. This parameter also influences the combustion dynamics of litters under forced convection. In that case, the heat release rate of pine needle litters with the same permeability increases with the SVR of the species.

Additional keywords: calorimetry, fire behaviour, heat release rate, permeability, pine litter, porous media, wildland fires.


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