Ignition of wildland fuels by idealized firebrands

J. Rivera, N. Hernández, J. L. Consalvi, P. Reszka, J. Contreras, A. Fuentes

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17 Scopus citations


Experiments were carried out in the Idealized-Firebrand Ignition Test (I-FIT), a bench scale apparatus specifically designed to test the ignition of forest fuel layers from a representative firebrand. A cylindrical heater was used to model the firebrand, which allowed to control the incident radiative heat flux on the specimen, from the critical heat flux up to 25 kW/m2, for five different porosities of the fuel layer. Experimental ignition delay times were interpreted based on a theoretical model of the radiative heating of the fuel layer. Radiative heat transfer within the fuel layer was modeled by using the P1 approximation. In the limit of small ignition delay times an analytical expression was derived to correlate the inverse of the ignition time to the incident heat flux. This analytical expression is used to obtain the ignition temperature and effective properties for the forest fuel layers, namely the product of the fuel volume fraction by solid fuel density and solid heat capacity. Analytical solutions were found to be consistent with experimental data and a correlation relating the inverse of the non-dimensional time-to-ignition to the non-dimensional heat flux is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103036
JournalFire Safety Journal
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytical solution
  • Critical heat flux
  • Ignition delay time
  • P approximation
  • Porous media


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