Modelling Charring and Burning of Spruce and Pine Woods During Pyrolysis, Smoldering and Flaming

Aleksi Rinta-Paavola, Dmitry Sukhomlinov, Simo Hostikka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

43 Downloads (Pure)


The goal of this work is to develop a material model for Norway spruce and Scots pine woods for use in performance-based fire safety design to predict char front progress and heat release in burning timber. For both woods a set of two different models is estimated: one that assumes wood as a single component and another that considers the pyrolysis of wood principal components independently (single and parallel reactions models, respectively). The material models are calibrated using cone calorimeter experiments. The models are intended for a number of different fire scenarios, such as fully developed fire with only little oxygen in the compartment, or the decay period after flaming with exposed char still smoldering. For both spruce and pine, the single and parallel reactions models are able to predict the experiments in the scale of cone calorimeter with near-equal accuracy. Hence, the single reaction model emerges as the preferable level of complexity when modelling charring and heat release, avoiding the increased uncertainty associated with the additional parameters of the parallel reactions model. When scaling up to the simulations of large scale fire tests, the models can predict the char front progress, but the final temperature profile differs from the experimental. The effects of crack forming in the char layer is one of the likely causes, but its mechanisms are not sufficiently known. Therefore, we suggest a closer study on crack formation in wood under fire as future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2751-2786
Number of pages36
JournalFire Technology
Issue number5
Early online date1 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Charring
  • Cone calorimeter
  • Pine wood
  • Pyrolysis
  • Smoldering
  • Spruce wood


Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling Charring and Burning of Spruce and Pine Woods During Pyrolysis, Smoldering and Flaming'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this