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A novel approach to determine charring of wood in natural fire implemented in a coupled heat-mass-pyrolysis model
Holzforschung  (IF2.393),  Pub Date : 2021-02-23, DOI: 10.1515/hf-2020-0081
Robert Pečenko, Tomaž Hozjan

Abstract The paper presents a novel approach to determine charring of wood exposed to standard and natural fire that is based on a new numerical model named PyCiF. The new model couples an advanced 2D heat-mass model with a pyrolysis model. A new charring criterion based on a physical phenomenon is implemented in the PyCiF model to determine charring of wood. This presents the main advantage of the new PyCiF model in comparison to common modelling approaches, which require an empirical value of the charring temperature that is often called the char front temperature. The fact that the char front temperature is not an explicit value as assumed by the isotherm 300 °C is advantageously considered in the presented approach where an assumed empirical value of the char front temperature is not directly required to determine the thickness of char layer. The validation of the PyCiF model against experimental results showed great model accuracy, meaning that the model is appropriate for the evaluation of charring depths of timber elements exposed to the standard fire as well as the natural fires. Additionally, as shown in the case study, the presented approach also enables to determine the char front temperature for various natural fire exposures. This will be especially important for the upgrade of the new design methods for fire safety of timber elements exposed to natural fire given in the various design codes such as Eurocode 5.