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Will the Second Item Ignite?



Vyto Babrauskas


The burning of more than a single fuel item in a room fire has not been well characterized. The first step in describing multiple item burning is to determine if, in fact, will occur. This question has been experimentally explored from two aspects. (1) The radiant heat fluxes from burning first-to-ignite objects have been measured, along with their mass loss rates. (2) The ignitability of exposed objects has been determined using a bench-scale uniform flux ignitability test. It is then suggested that whether the second item will ignite can best be determined analytically from considering these two sets of results.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


igniton, room fires, upholstered furniture, buring rate, chairs


Babrauskas, V. (1981), Will the Second Item Ignite?, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


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Created May 1, 1981, Updated February 19, 2017