International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Equilibrium moisture content and timelag of dead Pinus pinaster needles

Sérgio Lopes A E , Domingos Xavier Viegas B C , Luís Teixeira de Lemos A D and Maria Teresa Viegas B

A Environment Department, Technology and Management School of Viseu, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Campus Politécnico de Repeses, PT-3504-510 Viseu, Portugal.

B ADAI/LAETA, Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Aerodinâmica Industrial, Rua Pedro Hispano, 12, PT-3030-289 Coimbra, Portugal.

C Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Coimbra, Rua Luis Reis dos Santos, PT-3030-788 Coimbra, Portugal.

D CI&DETS, Centro de Estudos em Educação, Tecnologia e Saúde, Avenida Coronel José Maria Vale de Andrade, Repeses, PT-3504-510 Viseu, Portugal.

E Corresponding author. Email: slopes@estgv.ipv.pt

International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(5) 721-732 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF13084
Submitted: 23 May 2013  Accepted: 3 March 2014   Published: 19 June 2014

Abstract

Modelling adsorption and desorption processes and equilibrium moisture content of dead fine fuels below fibre saturation is required to provide an accurate prediction of their drying and wetting processes within the range where flammability increases rapidly with decreasing moisture content. Data from laboratory tests on sorption processes and equilibrium moisture content isotherms of dead Pinus pinaster (Ait.) needles were used to evaluate several models applicable to fine forest fuels and agricultural and food products. Laboratory and field data were used to assess model accuracy in predicting drying and wetting curves and equilibrium moisture content isotherms showing a medium to high predictive ability for almost all cases. The best fitting combinations were obtained with the application of agricultural and food products models for drying and wetting phases and fine forest fuel models for equilibrium moisture content determination.

Additional keywords: dead fuels, fuel moisture content, sorption, timelag.


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