Flame heat proposal

Burn Temperature Experiment

Purpose: This is a comparative evaluation of fire spinning fuels and the relative comparative temperatures at which they burn, under controlled and simulated conditions in an attempt to clear up any confusion as to how hot fuels burn, allowing fire performers and professionals may make informed decisions on fuel safety.

The Experiment: This experiment will be conducted In Four Phases: each with its own perspective into burn temperature.

Phase 1:  Eight different fuels will be tested statically for a timed burn, during which the temperature will be recorded at thirty second intervals until burnout.  Temperature will be recorded using a stationary mounted Infrared thermometer as well as a needle point probe placed at the edge of the wick.  Each fuel will be tested and mounted individually on new wicks.  Since Heat is transferred three ways (radiation, convection, conduction) two devices are being used to measure the temperature: An Infrared Sensor (radiation) and a Needle Probe (convection and conduction). Each wick will be immersed in its fuel for thirty seconds, allowed to drip for thirty seconds then hung on the mount and ignition will begin.

Phase 2: Using the same apparatus and methods as Phase 1, with the addition of a fan in order to simulate motion of wicks in use.  Fan will be used at the same speed for all fuels, so a comparative measurement can be made.

Phase 3: Using the same apparatus as Phase 1, A variety of different wick sizes and shapes will be all be tested using the same fuel ( Colemans White Gas ) for all wick sizes and shapes in this test.  This test will determine whether the size and shape of the wick will alter its burn temperature, with the fuel being the datum.

Phase 4: A number of Burns will be run using Methanol/Boric Acid, Methanol/Lithium Chloride, Methanol/Potassium Nitrate.  Temperature measurements will be recorded at 30 second intervals until flameout to determine the temperature at which the wicks burn at during colored flame performance.  This is by no way a complete evaluation of all potential flame colors that are commonly produced, but will give an idea into the potential differences in flame temperature during a performance from the temperatures encountered from more common fuels.

The North American Fire Arts Association