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» Economics » Fire teachings » Topics begins with I » Ignition temperature

Page modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 15:47:14

The ignition temperature (also or point of inflammation) is that temperature, on which one must heat a material or a contact surface up, so that an inflammable substance (solid, liquid and/or their steams or gas) in presence of atmospheric oxygen without can catch fire automatically.

With the clearly lower flash point a gas/an air mixture of the same substance can be inflamed only by means of ignition source. At flash point temperature a liquid achieves a steam pressure and/or a corresponding saturation steam concentration, which is so high that the appropriate gas/air mixture can be ignited.

The explosiveness of a gas mixture depends subordinated also on the oxygen content of the surrounding atmosphere. Standard conditions refer to 20% oxygen in air. Since large-scale installations (tank, container) cannot be inertisieren with nitrogen up to a remainder oxygen content of 0%, in special measurements that minimum forces border oxygen content for an ignition determined (e.g. 2-4%).

The ignition temperature does not correlate with boiling point or flash point temperature of an inflammable material. It is rather a measure for the oxidation sensitivity of the substance.

Solvents with particularly low ignition temperatures (approx. 120-180"°C) are:

  • Acetaldehyde
  • Carbon disulfide
  • Diethylether
  • Ethylenglycol dimethyl ether
  • Propylenglycol dimethyl ether
  • Diethylenglycol dimethyl ether
  • Dipropylenglycol dimethyl ether

Causes for the self inflammation

"…. in work"…



  • Carbon disulfide - a hot glass rod is sufficient for inflammation.
  • Diethylenglycol and Dipropylenglycolether - on hot equipment parts themselves can catch fire with distillation (with Dipropylenglycoldimethylether the ignition temperature 10"°C is under the boiling point)


Types of dust


  • white phosphorus - catches fire from air fast automatically (principle of the staff incendiary bombs in the 2.Weltkrieg)
  • oil-smeared rag - can catch fire when long lying in trash cans themselves.
  • pyrophores iron - ultrafeine iron splinters, under inert gas in ampuls melted. When paying a true spark rain forms, similarly as metal chips with the Flexen at air.
  • electrostatically loaded powders (, methyl-substituted e.g. some synthetic resin powders and polymer granulates cellulose derivatives) form when pouring from transportation packing. Potential source of spark on the one hand and combustible dust on the other hand are present at the same time.


Ignition temperature of some solids:

SolidIgnition temperature in "°C
Fir wood280
Typewriting paper360
Rye flour500
Phosphorus knows60
Phosphorus red300
Match head80

Ignition temperatures and flash points of some liquid fuels:

LiquidFlash point in "°CIgnition temperature in "°C
Bitumen205approx. 400
Acetic acid40460
Engine oil80
Lubricating oil125500
Turpentine oil36255

See also

  • Burn triangle
  • Portal: Fire-brigade
  • Fahrenheit 451

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