temperatures attained in fires

 

Structural fire

Source: Wikipedia

 

  • house fires
    • 0-500oC over 8 mins (>150oC within 5-10 mins)
    • 'flashover' at 12 mins
    • increase to 780oC over 55 mins before fuel used up
    • NB. clothes burn at 225oC
  • aircraft fires - 250oC in 5-6 mins
  • flashover fires - 680oC
  • car fires - 1100oC

(Richards 1977)

 

 

Vehicle fire

Source: Wikipedia

cremations

 

Cremation of a body

Source: Wikipedia

  

The sequence of the destruction of a body in a commercial crematorium (at a temperature of 670-810oC) has been described by Bohnert et al (1998):

  • 10 mins - pugilistic attitute; heat contraction in flexor muscles
  • 20 mins - charring of face and extremities
  • 20-30 mins - fissuring of exposed outer table of the skull, suture separation, torso and extremities consumed with charring of underlying bone
  • 30 mins - calvarial fractures widen and extend to inner table, internal organs are exposed and shrink, forearms destroyed, facial bones fragmented
  • 40 mins - calvarium destroyed, facial bones fragmented
  • 50 mins - arms destroyed, femoral 'stumps' remain, skull base exposed
  • 60 mins - vertebral column calcined
  • 60 mins to 1.5 hours - fragmentation
  • 2-3 hours - almost complete cremation

They also noted that children were calcined in 2 hours at 500oC.

references

 

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