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Seminar on Fire


Reed Welker and Charles Springer (University of Arkansas)


This Powerpoint presentation (with notes) covers fundamentals of fires and explosions and is recommended as an introduction to the subject including such topics as:

  • technical definition of fires and explosions,
  • physical characteristics of various fires,
  • necessary conditions for fires and explosions, and
  • elementary properties, such as flammability limits (LFL and UFL), minimum oxygen concentration (MOC), minimum ignition energy (MIE), flame speeds, burning rates, etc.
The limiting factor in burning most liquids and solids is the rate of evaporation (liquid) and pyrolysis (solid), and so the burning rates of liquids and solids are dependent on the heat transfer back to the fuel and are functions of the radiant properties of the flame, the energy absorbing properties of the fuel, and the flame temperature. The burning rate of gas is dependent on the fuel release rate. Gases are easy to ignite and solids are relatively difficult to ignite, but dusts are a special class of solids that are easily ignited. Pictures are included of pool fires, BLEVEs, and extinguishing pool fires.

This product helps prepare engineers to design systems that reduce the probability of fires and explosions. Some coverage also discusses the design methods used to mitigate fires (venting, fire proofing, fire suppression, etc.), and provides references for safe designs (NFPA, CCPS. etc.).

Suggested courses that can use this product

  • Thermodynamics
  • Design
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