Glossary of firelighting
This is an alphabetized glossary of terms pertaining to lighting fires, along with their definitions. Firelighting is the process of starting a fire artificially. Fire was an essential tool in early human cultural development, it requires completing the fire triangle by initiating the combustion of a suitably flammable material. Amadou – a spongy, flammable substance prepared from bracket fungi. Arson – the crime of intentionally or maliciously lighting structures, wildland areas, cars or other property on fire, it is the deliberate setting of fires for monetary or political gain. Auto reignition – a process used in gas burners to control ignition devices based on whether a burner flame is lit. Autoignition temperature – the lowest temperature at which a substance will spontaneously ignite in a normal atmosphere without an external source of ignition, such as a flame or spark. Batoning – the technique of cutting or splitting wood by using a baton-sized stick or mallet to strike the spine of a sturdy knife, chisel or blade in order to drive it through wood.
The batoning method can be used to make desired forms such as boards, slats or notches. The practice is most useful for obtaining dry wood from the inside of logs for the purpose of fire making. Black match – in pyrotechnics, a type of crude fuse, constructed of cotton string fibers intimately coated with a dried black powder slurry. Blow George – an implement used in fire lighting, used to increase the efficiency of firelighting through acceleration of the chimney draw. Bow drill – an ancient tool used to make fire, it was used for primitive woodworking and dentistry. Bridgewire – a thin resistance wire used to set off a pyrotechnic composition serving as pyrotechnic initiator. Bryant and May – a United Kingdom company created in the mid-nineteenth century to make matches. Burning glass – a large convex lens that can concentrate the sun's rays onto a small area, heating up the area and thus resulting in ignition of the exposed surface. Campfire – a fire lit at a campsite, to serve the following functions: light, warmth, a beacon, an insect and/or apex predator deterrent, to cook, for a psychological sense of security.
Char cloth – a swatch of fabric made from vegetable fiber, converted via pyrolysis into a slow-burning fuel of low ignition temperature. Combustion – the sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat and conversion of chemical species; the release of heat can result in the production of light in the form of a flame. Control of fire by early humans – A turning point in the cultural aspect of human evolution that allowed humans to cook food and obtain warmth and protection. Making fire allowed the expansion of human activity into the colder hours of the night, provided protection from predators and insects. Dickheads – a brand of matches released by Australian businessman Dick Smith in 1999; the name is a pun on the Redheads brand of matches. Döbereiner's lamp – a lighter invented in 1823 by the German chemist Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner, it is based on the Fürstenberger lighter, was in production until circa 1880. Zinc metal reacts with sulfuric acid in its jar to produce hydrogen gas.
When a valve is opened, a jet of hydrogen bursts into flame. The ignition is catalyzed by platinum metal. Electric match – a device that uses an externally applied electric current to ignite a combustible compound. Ember – a glowing, hot coal made of heated wood, coal, or other carbon-based material that remain after, or sometimes precede a fire. England's Glory – a brand of matches, available in the United Kingdom, using an iconic image of a Victorian battleship, HMS Devastation. Feather stick – a length of wood, shaved to produce a head of thin curls, it is sometimes used when starting an outdoor campfire when dry tinder is difficult to find. It is used in conjunction with charcloth. Ferrocerium – a man-made metallic material that gives off a large number of hot sparks at temperatures at 3,000 °F when scraped against a rough surface, such as ridged steel. Fire piston – a device used to kindle fire, it uses the principle of the heating of a gas by its rapid compression to ignite a piece of tinder, used to set light to kindling.
Fire ring – a construction or device used to contain campfires and prevent them from spreading and turning into wildfires. Fire striker – a piece of high-carbon steel used for striking a spark kept in a tinderbox together with flint and tinder. Fire triangle – simple model for understanding the necessary ingredients for most fires; the triangle illustrates the three elements a fire needs to ignite: heat, an oxidizing agent. A fire occurs when the elements are present and combined in the right mixture, meaning that fire is an event rather than a thing. A fire can be extinguished by removing any one of the elements in the fire triangle. Firelighter – small solid fuel tablets sold as a consumer product and designed to replace kindling in starting a fire. Firewood – any wooden material, gathered and used for fuel. Flint – a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert, it occurs chiefly as nodules and masses such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is dark grey, green, white, or brown in color, has a glassy or waxy appearance.
A thin layer on the outside of the nodules is different in colour white
Firewood is any wooden material, gathered and used for fuel. Firewood is not processed and is in some sort of recognizable log or branch form, compared to other forms of wood fuel like pellets or chips. Firewood can be unseasoned, it is classified as hardwood or softwood. Firewood is a renewable resource. However, demand for this fuel can outpace its ability to regenerate on a regional level. Good forestry practices and improvements in devices that use firewood can improve local wood supplies. Harvesting or collecting firewood varies by the region and culture; some places have specific areas for firewood collection. Other places may integrate the collection of firewood in the cycle of preparing a plot of land to grow food as part of a field rotation process. Collection can be family or an individual activity; the tools and methods for harvesting firewood are diverse. Some firewood is harvested in "woodlots" managed for that purpose, but in wooded areas it is more harvested as a byproduct of natural forests.
Deadfall that has not started to rot is preferred, since it is partly seasoned. Standing dead timber is considered better still, for it has less humid organic material on the trunk, allowing tools to stay sharper longer, as well as being both seasoned and less rotten. Harvesting this form of timber reduces the speed and intensity of bushfires, but it reduces habitat for snag-nesting animals such as owls and some rodents. Harvesting timber for firewood is carried out by hand with chainsaws. Thus, longer pieces – requiring less manual labour, less chainsaw fuel – are less expensive and only limited by the size of the firebox. In most of the United States, the standard measure of firewood is a cord or 128 cubic feet, firewood can be sold by weight; the BTU value can affect the price. Prices vary with the distance from wood lots, quality of the wood. Buying and burning firewood, cut only a short distance from its final destination prevents the accidental spread of invasive tree-killing insects and diseases.
In most parts of the world, firewood is only prepared for transport at the time. It is moved closer to the place it will be used as fuel and prepared there; the process of making charcoal from firewood can take place at the place. Most firewood requires splitting, which allows for faster seasoning by exposing more surface area. Today most splitting is done with a hydraulic splitting machine, but it can be split with a splitting maul. More unusual, dangerous, is a tapered screw-style design, that augers into the wood, splitting it, can be powered by either a power take-off drive, a dedicated internal combustion engine, or a rugged electric pipe-threading machine, safer than the other power sources because the power can be shut off more if necessary. Another method is to use a kinetic log splitter, which uses a rack and pinion system powered by a small motor and a large flywheel used for energy storage. There are many ways to store firewood; these range from simple piles to specialized structures.
The goal of storing wood is to keep water away from it and to continue the drying process. Stacks: The simplest stack is where logs are placed next to and on top of each other, forming a line the width of the logs; the height of the stack can vary depending upon how the ends are constructed. Without constructing ends, the length of the log and length of the pile help determine the height of a free-standing stack. There is debate about whether wood will dry more when covered. There is a trade-off between the surface of the wood getting wet vs. allowing as much wind and sun as possible to access the stack. A cover can be any material that sheds water – a large piece of plywood, sheet metal, terracotta tiles, or an oiled canvas cloth cheap plastic sheeting may be used. Wood will not dry when enclosed. Ideally pallets or scrap wood should be used to raise the wood from the ground, reducing rot and increasing air flow. There are many ways to create the ends of a stack. In some areas, a crib end is created by alternating pairs of logs to help stabilize the end.
A stake or pole placed in the ground is another way to end the pile. A series of stacked logs at the end, each with a cord tied to it and the free end of the cord wrapped to log in the middle of the pile, is another way. Under a roof: Under a roof, there are no concerns about the wood being subjected to rain, snow or run-off, but ventilation needs to be provided if the wood is stored green so that moisture released from the wood does not recondense inside; the methods for stacking depend on the structure and layout desired. Whether split, or in'rounds', the wood should be stacked lengthwise, the most stable and practical method. Again though, if the wood needs further seasoning there should be adequate air flow through the stack. Storing outdoors: Firewood should be stacked with the bark facing upwards; this allows the water to drain off, standing frost, ice, or snow to be kept from the wood. Storing wood in close proximity to a dwelling increases the likelihood that insects such as termites can become established indoors.
Storing firewood indoors for any extended period of time is not recommended, for it increases the risk of introducing insects such as termites into the home. Round stacks can be made many ways; some are piles of wood with a stacked circular wall around them. Others like the American Holz Hausen are more complicated. A Holz hausen, or "wood house", is a circular method of stacking wood.
An ember is a glowing, hot coal made of heated wood, coal, or other carbon-based material that remain after, or sometimes precede, a fire. Embers can glow hot, sometimes as hot as the fire which created them, they radiate a substantial amount of heat long after the fire has been extinguished, if not taken care of properly can rekindle a fire, thought to be extinguished and can pose a fire hazard. In order to avoid the danger of accidentally spreading a fire, many campers pour water on the embers or cover them in dirt. Alternatively, embers can be used to relight a fire after it has gone out without the need to rebuild the fire - In a conventional fireplace, a fire can be relit up to 12 hours after it goes out, provided that there is enough space for air to circulate between the embers and the introduced fuel, they are used for cooking, such as in charcoal barbecues. This is because embers radiate a more consistent form of heat, as opposed to an open fire, changing along with the heat it radiates.
An ember is formed when a fire has only burnt a piece of fuel, there is still usable chemical energy in that piece of fuel. This happens because the usable chemical energy is so deep into the center that air does not reach it, therefore not causing combustion, it continues to stay hot and does not lose its thermal energy because combustion is still happening at a low level. The small yellow and red lights seen among the embers are combustion. There just is not enough combustion happening at one time to create a flame. Once the embers are completely'burned through', they are not carbon as is believed, but rather various other oxidized minerals like calcium and phosphorus. At that point they are called ashes. See: Wood ash for more on the residue, left. Embers play a large role in forest fires; because embers are burnt leaves and thus small and lightweight, they can become airborne. During a large fire, with the right conditions, embers can be blown far ahead of the fire front, starting spot fires several kilometres/miles away.
A number of practical measures can be undertaken by homeowners to reduce the consequences of such an "ember attack" that bombards wooden structures and starts property fires. Spark, an airborne ember
Chert is a hard, fine-grained sedimentary rock composed of crystals of quartz that are small. Quartz is the mineral form of silicon dioxide. Chert is of biological origin but may occur inorganically as a chemical precipitate or a diagenetic replacement. Geologists use chert as a generic name for any type of cryptocrystalline quartz. Chert is of biological origin, being the petrified remains of siliceous ooze, the biogenic sediment that covers large areas of the deep ocean floor, which contains the silicon skeletal remains of diatoms, silicoflagellates, radiolarians. Depending on its origin, it can contain small macrofossils, or both, it varies in color, but most manifests as gray, grayish brown and light green to rusty red. Chert occurs in carbonate rocks as oval to irregular nodules in greensand, limestone and dolostone formations as a replacement mineral, where it is formed as a result of some type of diagenesis. Where it occurs in chalk or marl, it is called flint, it occurs in thin beds, when it is a primary deposit.
Thick beds of chert occur in deep marine deposits. These thickly bedded cherts include the novaculite of the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and similar occurrences in Texas and South Carolina in the United States; the banded iron formations of Precambrian age are composed of alternating layers of chert and iron oxides. Chert occurs in diatomaceous deposits and is known as diatomaceous chert. Diatomaceous chert consists of beds and lenses of diatomite which were converted during diagenesis into dense, hard chert. Beds of marine diatomaceous chert comprising strata several hundred meters thick have been reported from sedimentary sequences such as the Miocene Monterey Formation of California and occur in rocks as old as the Cretaceous. In petrology the term "chert" is used to refer to all rocks composed of microcrystalline, cryptocrystalline and microfibrous quartz; the term does not include quartzite. Chalcedony is a microfibrous variety of quartz. Speaking, the term "flint" is reserved for varieties of chert which occur in chalk and marly limestone formations.
Among non-geologists, the distinction between "flint" and "chert" is one of quality – chert being lower quality than flint. This usage of the terminology is prevalent in North America and is caused by early immigrants who brought the terms from England where most true flint was indeed of better quality than "common chert". Among petrologists, chalcedony is sometimes considered separately from chert due to its fibrous structure. Since many cherts contain both microcrystalline and microfibrous quartz, it is sometimes difficult to classify a rock as chalcedony, thus its general inclusion as a variety of chert; the cryptocrystalline nature of chert, combined with its above average ability to resist weathering, recrystallization and metamorphism has made it an ideal rock for preservation of early life forms. For example: The 3.2 Ga chert of the Fig Tree Formation in the Barbeton Mountains between Swaziland and South Africa preserved non-colonial unicellular bacteria-like fossils. The Gunflint Chert of western Ontario preserves not only bacteria and cyanobacteria but organisms believed to be ammonia-consuming and some that resemble green algae and fungus-like organisms.
The Apex Chert of the Pilbara craton, Australia preserved eleven taxa of prokaryotes. The Bitter Springs Formation of the Amadeus Basin, Central Australia, preserves 850 Ma cyanobacteria and algae; the Rhynie chert of Scotland has remains of a Devonian land flora and fauna with preservation so perfect that it allows cellular studies of the fossils. In prehistoric times, chert was used as a raw material for the construction of stone tools. Like obsidian, as well as some rhyolites, felsites and other tool stones used in lithic reduction, chert fractures in a Hertzian cone when struck with sufficient force; this results in a characteristic of all minerals with no cleavage planes. In this kind of fracture, a cone of force propagates through the material from the point of impact removing a full or partial cone; the partial Hertzian cones produced during lithic reduction are called flakes, exhibit features characteristic of this sort of breakage, including striking platforms, bulbs of force, eraillures, which are small secondary flakes detached from the flake's bulb of force.
When a chert stone is struck against an iron-bearing surface sparks result. This makes chert an excellent tool for starting fires, both flint and common chert were used in various types of fire-starting tools, such as tinderboxes, throughout history. A primary historic use of common chert and flint was for flintlock firearms, in which the chert striking a metal plate produces a spark that ignites a small reservoir containing black powder, discharging the firearm. Cherts are subject to problems. Weathered chert develops surface pop-outs when used in concrete that undergoes freezing and thawing because of the high porosity of weathered cher
A lighter is a portable device used to create a flame, to ignite a variety of combustible materials, such as cigars, gas stoves, candles or cigarettes. It consists of a metal or plastic container filled with a flammable fluid or pressurized liquid gas, a means of ignition to produce the flame, some provision for extinguishing the flame. Alternatively, a lighter can be powered by electricity, using an electric arc or heating element to ignite the target; the first lighters were converted flintlock pistols. One of the first lighters was invented by the German chemist named Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner in 1823 and was called Döbereiner's lamp; this lighter worked by passing flammable hydrogen gas, produced within the lighter by a chemical reaction, over a platinum metal catalyst which in turn caused it to ignite and give off a great amount of heat and light. The patenting of ferrocerium by Carl Auer von Welsbach in 1903 has made modern lighters possible; when scratched it produces a large spark, responsible for lighting the fuel of many lighters, is suitably inexpensive for use in disposable items.
Using Carl Auer von Welsbach's flint, companies like Ronson were able to develop practical and easy to use lighters. In 1910, Ronson released the first Pist-O-Liter, in 1913, the company developed its first lighter, called the "Wonderlite", a permanent match style of lighter. During WWl soldiers started to create lighters of empty cartridge cases. During that time one of the soldiers came up with a means to insert a chimney cap with holes in it to make it more windproof; the Zippo lighter and company were invented and founded by George Grant Blaisdell in 1932. The Zippo was noted for its reliability, "Life Time Warranty" and marketing as "Wind-Proof". Most early Zippos used naphtha as a fuel source. In the 1950s, there was a switch in the fuel of choice from naphtha to butane, as butane allows for a controllable flame and has less odour; this led to the use of piezoelectric spark, which replaced the need for a flint wheel in some lighters and was used in many Ronson lighters. In modern times most of the world's lighters are produced in France, the United States and Thailand.
Naphtha based lighters employ a saturated cloth wick and fibre packing to absorb the fluid and prevent it from leaking. They employ an enclosed top to prevent the volatile liquid from evaporating, to conveniently extinguish the flame. Butane lighters have a valved orifice. A spark is created by striking metal against a flint, or by pressing a button that compresses a piezoelectric crystal, generating an electric arc. In naphtha lighters, the liquid is sufficiently volatile, flammable vapour is present as soon as the top of the lighter is opened. Butane lighters combine the striking action with the opening of the valve to release gas; the spark ignites the flammable gas causing a flame to come out of the lighter which continues until either the top is closed, or the valve is released. A metal enclosure with air holes surrounds the flame, is designed to allow mixing of fuel and air while making the lighter less sensitive to wind; the high energy jet in butane lighters allows mixing to be accomplished by using Bernoulli's principle, so that the air hole in this type tend to be much smaller and farther from the flame.
Specialized "windproof" butane lighters are manufactured for demanding conditions such as shipboard, high altitude, wet climates. Some dedicated; such lighters are far hotter than normal lighters and can burn in excess of 1,100 °C. The windproof capabilities are not achieved from higher pressure fuel. Instead, windproof lighters mix the fuel with air and pass the butane–air mixture through a catalytic coil. An electric spark starts the initial flame, soon the coil is hot enough to cause the fuel–air mixture to burn on contact. Arc lighters use a spark to create a plasma conduit between electrodes, maintained by a lower voltage; the arc is applied to a flammable substance to cause ignition. Some vehicles are equipped with an electric lighter located on the dashboard or in the well between the front seats, its electric heating element becomes hot in seconds upon activation. The car lighter was claimed to have been invented by Alexander Kucala, a tavern owner and inventor, on the south side of Chicago in the early 1930s called the AL Lighter.
Not to be confused with the meaning of match as in matchsticks or the "permanent match", this type of lighter consists of a length of slow match in a holder, with means to ignite and to extinguish the match. While the glowing match does not supply enough energy to start a fire without further kindling, it is sufficient to light a cigarette; the main advantage of this design shows itself in windy conditions, where the glow of the match is fanned by the wind instead of being blown out. A typical form of lighter is the permanent match or everlasting match, consisting of a naphtha fuel-filled metal shell and a separate threaded metal rod assembly —the "match"— serving as the striker and wick; this "metal match" is stored screwed into the shell. The fuel-saturated striker/wick assembly is unscrewed to remove, scratched against a flint on the side of the case to create a spark, its concealed wick catches fire. The flame is extinguished by blowing it out before screwing the "match" back into the shell, where it absorbs fuel for the next use.
An advantage over o
An electric match is a device that uses an externally applied electric current to ignite a combustible compound. Electric matches use a bridgewire consisting of a heating element to ignite a pyrogen, a quantity of ignited pyrotechnic initiator composition. Electric matches can be used in any application where source of heat is needed at a controlled point in time to ignite a propellant or explosive. Examples include airbags and military or commercial explosives. Electric matches consist of a bridgewire and a pyrogen; the bridgewire is a heating element in the form of a loop or coil of thin wire, encased in the pyrogen, a quantity of ignited pyrotechnic initiator composition. If the pyrogen is sufficiently conductive, it can act as the bridgewire as well. Electric matches come with provisions for attaching an electric current source, they may be provided with a protective cover and/or a means to attach them to the device to be ignited. To operate an electric match, a source of electricity of appropriate voltage and current is needed to provide current to the match.
When sufficient electric current is passed through the bridgewire, the resistive heating causes the element to rise above the ignition temperature of the pyrogen, the pyrogen begins to burn. Commercial electric match manufacturers specify 3 key parameters of an electric match: the resistance, a recommended firing current, a maximum no-fire current; the "test" button on a firing systems tests a setup by sending a current limited to well below the no-fire current to detect common problems. A partial list of applications is: Airbag deployment Pyrotechnics Military or commercial explosives Model rocketry Fireplaces: natural gas, propane Gas stoves and barbecuesElectric matches, or electronic ignition, is used in natural gas and propane fueled commercial and household appliances and amenities; some examples are gas stoves and barbecues and swimming pool hot water heaters and boilers and garden fire pits, clothes dryers and central heating systems. Electric matches may be regulated. Kits include the thin wire needed for the bridgewire, such as nichrome wire, along with components for mixing the pyrogen.
Scratch-built matches use thin wire which may be purchased or salvaged from sources such as light bulb filaments, copper wiring. In addition to the ignitable component of the electric match pyrogen, some matches may add additional components to provide a hotter, longer-lasting flame, for igniting items that are difficult to ignite. For example, igniters for solid fuel model rocket motors include powdered metals, which provide more heat and duration to the match flame, a more reliable ignition of the motor. Tubes and primers for ammunition Primers Blasting cap Micro combined heat and power Renewable natural gas Squib Pyrotechnic fastener Exploding-bridgewire detonator