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Title: Critical drip size and blue flame shedding of dripping ignition in fire
Authors: Huang, X 
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Source: Scientific reports, 2018, v. 8, no. 1, 16528 How to cite?
Journal: Scientific reports 
Abstract: Dripping of molten fuels is a widely observed fire phenomenon, and, by igniting other fuels, it can promote fire spread and increase fire hazards. In this work, dripping phenomena from fires of horizontally oriented wires, coated with polyethylene (PE), are investigated in the laboratory. It is found that as long as a flame is attached to the drip, thin tissue paper can be ignited by a single drip. Below a minimum diameter (Dmin = 0.63 mm), the drip floats up. Above a critical diameter (Dcrt = 2.3 mm), a flame can remain attached to the drip and ignite tissue paper as it falls through a distance of at least 2.6 m, thereby posing a significant fire hazard. A falling burning drip appears to the eye to be a blue chain of flame as a result of persistence of vision. Photographic evidence identifies a flame-shedding process, most likely associated with continual sequential ignition of fuel vapor within a von Karman vortex street generated behind the falling burning drip. The frequency of flame shedding agrees with both the frequency of modeled vortex shedding and the frequency of the unexpected sound that is heard during the process. This is the first time that combustion characteristics of dripping fire phenomena have been studied in detail, and this helps to better evaluate the risk and hazards of wire and façade fires.
EISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-34620-3
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018 This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Te images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
The following publication: Huang, X. (2018). Critical Drip Size and Blue Flame Shedding of Dripping Ignition in Fire. Scientific reports, 8(1), 16528 is available at
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