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

Effect of particle orientation and of flow velocity on the combustibility of Pinus pinaster and Eucalyptus globulus firebrand material

Miguel Almeida A , Domingos Xavier Viegas A B D , Ana Isabel Miranda C and Valeria Reva A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

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

B Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Coimbra, Rua Luís Reis dos Santos, 3030-788 Coimbra, Portugal.

C CESAM, Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.

D Corresponding author. Email: xavier.viegas@dem.uc.pt

International Journal of Wildland Fire 20(8) 946-962 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF09080
Submitted: 21 July 2009  Accepted: 21 April 2011   Published: 5 October 2011

Abstract

Spotting is a very important mechanism of forest fire spread. Its negative effect increases in extreme fire danger conditions. In order to predict the maximum spotting distance, the duration of the combustion reaction of potential firebrands should be evaluated. This paper reports the results of an experimental laboratory study of the combustibility of firebrand material (pine cones and scales and pieces of bark of eucalypt) of two representative species in Portugal, Pinus pinaster Ait. and Eucalyptus globulus Labill. The main purpose was to assess the role on the burning conditions of the firebrand particle orientation angle θ in relation to the airflow and of the flow velocity (U) around the particle. Tests were made varying the angle of orientation of the main axis of the particle in relation to incident flow in the range of ±90°; flow velocities were tested from 0 to 6.5 m s–1. After ignition, particle mass loss owing to flaming or glowing combustion of the particle was continuously measured. Residual mass, duration of the flaming phase and the burnout times are reported for each case. Empirical models to estimate the trends of variation of some of these parameters with θ and U are proposed to illustrate their importance for the range of test conditions.

Additional keywords: embers, eucalypt bark, firebrands, forest fires, pine cone, pine scale, spot fires.


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