Transport of firebrands by line thermals
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Frank A. Albini
Publication Year: 1983

Cataloging Information

  • drift
  • firebrands
  • spotting
  • spotting distance
  • thermal analysis
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Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 17539


The motion of a strong line thermal in an unstratified atmosphere is modeled to estimate a bound for its capability to lift firebrand particles. It is found that the maximum height of a viable firebrand is roughly proportional to the square root of thermal strength. The horizontal distance traveled from the point of origin to the point where free descent begins is calculated for two wind- speed profiles with height, assuming the transporting thermal to be embedded in the windfield. This downwind drift distance is shown to be both significant and sensitive to the windspeed profile.

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Link to this document (6.8 MB; pdf)
Albini, Frank A. 1983. Transport of firebrands by line thermals. Combustion Science and Technology 32:277-288.