A review is made of the data available for estimating the burning rates of free-burning fires. Free-burning, in this context, is taken to mean fires in an ambient, wind-free atmosphere, or in a room, but under such conditions that the presence of the room walls and air flow restrictions do not appreciably influence the burning rate. Some guidance is given for assessing when these conditions are not met. For certain well-studied categories of combustibles, simple estimating rules are given for predicting the burning rate from known material properties. In other cases, only measured data for a number of specimens are available, without a systematic estimating rule. The scope is restricted to combustibles which burn at a sufficient rate to be hazardous in building fires. Data are not included for reported measurements where specimens have not been quantitatively described, or if data are proprietary. The review suggests that while data for certain combustibles are plentiful, the catalog is by no means large, and for many design cases quantitative guidance would not be available. © 1986.
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