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Publication Citation: Characterization of Candle Flames

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Author(s): Anthony P. Hamins; Matthew F. Bundy; Scott E. Dillon;
Title: Characterization of Candle Flames
Published: November 01, 2005
Abstract: Common household open flame and radiant ignition sources are the actual or suspected cause for many fires. The purpose of this research is to identify the burning behavior and properties of common candles in order to provide additional tools for use by fire investigators. The properties of paraffin wax are obtained from the literature and from experiments. The candles are burned under controlled laboratory conditions to measure the mass burning rate, candle regression rate, flame height, and heat flux. Using the properties of paraffin wax and characteristics of the candles, numerous simulations are performed with the NIST Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) to model the burning rate and heat flux profile of the candle flame. The modeling results are then compared with the flame height and heat flux data obtained experimentally. The model facilitates an enhanced understanding of the structure of candle flames.
Citation: Journal of Fire Protection Engineering
Volume: 15
Issue: No. 4
Pages: pp. 265 - 285
Keywords: candles; arson; fire models; ignition; paraffin; wax; ignition sources; fire investigators; experiments; cone calorimeters; temperature; heat of combustion; mass loss; regression rate; flame height; heat flux; computational fluid dynamics
Research Areas: Building and Fire Research
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (456KB)