Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Short-Duration Autoignition Temperature Measurements for Hydrocarbon Fuels Near Heated Metal Surfaces



K C. Smyth, Nelson P. Bryner


An apparatus has been designed, built, and extensivley tested for making short-duration autoignition temperature measurements of hydrocarbon fuels under atmospheric pressure conditions where the fuel/air stoichiometry, the nature of the hot metal surface, and the contact time between the fuel air mixture and the heated surface are well controlled. This approach provides a much more reliable database to establish the importance of fuel structure and surface effects on measured autoignition temperatures than the current ASTM E659 procedure, which involves variable ignition delay times and unspecified stoichiometries for ignition in a heated glass flask. Two series of tests have been conducted: (1) over 1100 individual autoignition temperature determinations for the ignition of 15 hydrocrabon fuels containing 1 to 8 carbon atoms on heated nickel, stainless steel, and titanium surfaces for three different stoichiometries, and (2) 190 determinations for 10 linear and branched alkanes on heated nickel for stoichiometric conditions. Excellent repeatability has been achieved within a given series of measurements and good replicate values have been obtained for data collected on separate days.
Combustion Science and Technology


hydrocarbon fuels, autoignition, nickel, premixed flames, stainless steels, titanium


Smyth, K. and Bryner, N. (1997), Short-Duration Autoignition Temperature Measurements for Hydrocarbon Fuels Near Heated Metal Surfaces, Combustion Science and Technology, [online], (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created December 31, 1996, Updated October 12, 2021