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Need Help Finding Data Concerning the Pyrolysis and Smouldering of Materials

  1. Dec 7, 2012 #1
    I am having a bit of trouble finding data about the various combustion temperatures (pyrolysis, smouldering, and flaming) temperatures of everyday materials.

    Here is the data I have collected so far (forgive me if anything is wrong):
    *Wood/Paper (C6H10O5)x: Pyrolysis Temperature is 233°C (451°F), Smouldering Temperature is ≈382°C (≈720°F), and Flaming Temperature is ≈590°C (≈1000°F).
    *Polyethylene (CH2)x: Melting Temperature is ≈120°C (≈248°F), Pyrolysis Temperature is 210°C (410°F), and Smouldering Temperature is 349°C (660°F).
    *Coal (C), Anthracite Variety: Pyrolysis Temperature is ≈450°C (≈842°F), Smouldering Temperature is ≈700°C (≈1300°F), and Flaming Temperature is ≈950°C (≈1,740°F).

    That last piece of data (coal combustion temperatures) doesn't seem to be quite right, as blackbody-radiation objects (such as coal) are brightly white-hot at 950°C, and I have never seen white-hot coal before.

    I am kind of amazed that more data has not been collected on this subject, as human beings have been using fire ever since we...well, ever were human. Grant it, the measurement of exact temperatures only began in the 1600's, but still, humans use fire every day in some form, so I would think that more data would be available!
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2012 #2


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  4. Dec 9, 2012 #3
    Yes, you're right. I got my scales mixed up. 1,740°C would be white-hot, but not 1740°F (950°C).

    And for your information, I have already visited the website that you mentioned about a week ago! (Although it is nonetheless useful information.)
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