Michael George Zabetakis

Michael George Zabetakis (7 July 1924 – 21 January 2005) was a fire safety engineering specialist.[1] He received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 1956.[2] In 1965 he published data for flammability limits, autoignition, and burning-rate data for more than 200 combustible gases and vapors in air and other oxidants, as well as of empirical rules and graphs that can be used to predict similar data for thousands of other combustibles under a variety of environmental conditions.[3] The work remains one of the most widely cited sources of flammability data. Despite its age it was still in 1999 considered the standard reference.[4] Zabetakis often uses flammability diagrams to show flammable properties of fuel-air-nitrogen mixtures. Zabetakis was the first superintendent of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy.

Michael George Zabetakis
Born3 March 1924
Burgettstown, PA
Died21 Jan 2005
Bridgeville, PA
Alma materWashington & Jefferson College
University of Pittsburgh
Known forFire safety engineering Mine Safety and Health Administration


  1. ^ "Obituary: Michael G. Zabetakis / Renowned explosives expert". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  2. ^ "Ph.D.s Awarded by the University of Pittsburgh Department of Chemistry - 1913-2004". cwt4.chem.pitt.edu. Archived from the original on 2 September 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  3. ^ Zabetakis 1965
  4. ^ Drysdale 1999:75