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Influence of Base Sheathing Material on Wind-Driven Firebrand Production during Real-Scale Building Component Combustion



Samuel L. Manzello, Sayaka Suzuki, Tomohiro Naruse


The production of firebrands during large outdoor fires remains unresolved in spite of many advances in the fire safety science discipline. To better grasp this complex problem, multiple experiments were undertaken using full-scale re-entrant corner assemblies exposed to wind in order to sample firebrands. In prior work, an ignition methodology was developed to generate firebrands from re-entrant corner assemblies constructed of wood studs and oriented strand board (OSB) as the base sheathing material. The objective of this study was to apply this same ignition methodology to examine if the base sheathing material, namely plywood as compared to OSB, greatly impacted the firebrand generation from re-entrant corner assembly combustion. It was interesting to observe that plywood generally produced far greater numbers of smaller firebrands (within size class up to 0.9 cm2), whereas OSB produced a great number of firebrands in the size class from 3.61 to 14.4 cm2. It is believed that these differences may be related to the different nature of the production process of these materials. Plywood firebrands clearly showed the presence of veneers, whereas the OSB firebrands show the wood strands still compressed together, suggesting a potential useful inspection methodology for post-fire damage assessment to identify the source of firebrands.
Proceedings Title
11th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology (AOSFST)
Conference Dates
October 21-25, 2018
Conference Location
Taipei, -1


Firebrands, Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires, Urban Fires
Created September 13, 2019, Updated October 4, 2019