Ignition Handbook : Principles and applications to fire safety engineering, fire investigation, risk management and forensic science

Zugriff nur im Hochschulnetz der Universität Wuppertal und für autorisierte Benutzer.

Access only in the university network of the University of Wuppertal and for authorized users

The present work is the first book attempting to cover the entire subject of ignition of unwanted fires. The only areas where coverage has been intentionally limited are:

(1) Fundamental theory of reacting flows. A number of modern ignition theories are simply specialized applications of general computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models. The CFD field has become highly developed in recent years and an assortment of good textbooks already exists.

(2) Preventive measures. Chapter 12 presents material in several, selected areas where systematic, research-based studies exist. But the field is vast and hundreds of codes, standards, and handbooks dealing with preventive issues involved in
design, installation, and maintenance of facilities have been published by NFPA and other organizations. The reader should consult these for their detailed recommendations.

(3) Flash point compilations. Chapter 15 contains information on a wide variety of pure and ‘practical’ fuels where, apart from flash points, additional data, e.g., flammability limits or minimum ignition energies, exist. For an authoritative
compilation of flash point data on roughly 2000 substances, NFPA 325 is recommended.

(4) Brand-name listings of defective or recalled products. This is ephemeral information and should be obtained from CPSC or from specialty periodicals.
Even with the limitation #1 stated above, some readers may find that much less space is devoted to coverage of theory than to coverage of practical applications. This, however, is due to availability of material. The author believes that a theory is valuable only if: 

(a) it leads to a conceptual understanding of the problem; or
(b) it provides a framework for making useful practical calculations.

The author reviewed a very large number of theory papers which did not meet either of these objectives and, consequently, are not covered in this Handbook. Typically, such theoretical studies did not lead to physical insights and either (a) produced only wholly-numeric solutions, which were illustrated with a few example problems but with no means for users to apply to their own cases, or (b) were so ambitious that a huge number of input constants is required, but there exists no practical means by which users can obtain such constants for their problems. If such theories had been included, the size of the Handbook would likely have doubled, but it is hard to see that its value would have increased.

Several of the author’s friends have suggested that coverage should also be limited in the areas where information might prove of value to lawless individuals. Apart from the fact that he doubts a book can be made useful for technical specialists,
yet devoid of value to the criminal, the author believes in the wisdom of Isaac Bonewits: “Evil acts cannot be prevented by keeping the public ignorant.”


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