Leadership

SPONTANEOUS IGNITION STUDIED BY MEANS OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES

Issue 26 and Volume 60.

SPONTANEOUS IGNITION STUDIED BY MEANS OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES Spontaneous ignition is a much more common cause of fires than is generally supposed. Many familiar substances can ignite spontaneously at slightly elevated temperatures if acted upon by strong sunlight. Fires from this source are in the class most dangerous to life and property, because they start at least expected time and place, and when one is near to extinguish them or to give the alarm. The study of this class of fires, therefore, offers an attractive field of usefulness for the fire-protection engineer; but pursuit of such studies is beset by difficulties arising from a lack of exact knowledge of chemistry of oxidation and lack of convenient methods of studying the early stages combustion. The ignition of a handful of celsior with a match is familiar to all: The match raises the temperature of a small amount of the wood above…

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