On the thermal ignition of combustible materials

Esko Mikkola, Indrek Wichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Formulas are derived for the time to achieve the ignition temperature as a function of the incident heat flux and the various thermophysical material parameters for thermally thick, thermally thin and thermally intermediate solid combustibles. Predictions are compared with recent experimental data for various natural wood species and wood products, and to previous data for wood and thermoplastics. The correlations are excellent when (1) the physical parameters used as the axes of the plots are chosen consistent with those of the theoretical formulas and (2) the experiments and the materials do not violate any of the restrictions imposed by the theory. From these plots it is easy to estimate the minimum heat flux for ignition, which is of great importance both in practice and for making theoretical predictions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-96
JournalFire and Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1990
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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