Talk:Flash point

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Note that volitle materials like naphthalene which have no liquid phase at 1 bar also have a flash point. The temperature of the flame from burning liquid is a measure of the exothermisity of the reaction, and so is related, in a complicated way, to the flash point. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yellier (talkcontribs) 11:16, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

This page shoud start with a definition of what a flashpoint is not a discussion of petrol and diesel. Theresa knott 21:30, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Other Uses of Flash pointEdit

Flashpoint is also an event that starts a war. (IE: Hitler invading Poland was the flashpoint of WW2). We should fit this in some where. CaptainAmerica 15:46, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Done. ( 14:16, 15 October 2005 (UTC))

Flash point (in the safety/hazards consideration area) also corresponds to approximately the lower flammable limit (LFL) otherwise known as the Lower explosive limit (LEL).

Should mention open cup (such as Cleveland) and closed cup testers (automated such as pensky Martens or non-automated Seta). there are ASTM and DIN standards.

some quirky materials - such as halogenated hydrocarbons have flammable limits, but no flash point - they often ignite outside the cup.

flash point and materials (transport classification)

Influence of environment - eg pressure

stoichiometric concentration - estimate LFL as approx 50% stoich.

context of upper flammable limit too? mixture flash points.

Greater Than / Less Than symbolsEdit

At the end, instead of > or < for the flashpoints of supstances, it should say "greater than" and "less than" So it is less confusing.

Can someone please do this?

You can if you think it desireable. Personally I don't this it necessary. Pzavon 00:45, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
To be honest I'm slightly confused. In Flash point: >-45 °C Is 45 °C less than the flash point, or is the flash point greater than 45 °C? -- 01:58, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Both! Saying that A is less than B is the same as saying B is greater than A.
And that is minus 45°C (below zero) not 45°C.
But the above may be nitpicking. Let me try to address the meaning of the ">" (greater than) and "<" (less than) symbols.
Read a line from left to right. If the symbol is open on the left and closed on the right (>), read "greater than". If the symbol is closed on the left and open on the right (<), read "less than." So Flash point: >-45 °C reads as Flash point: greater than -45°C (You could think of the two symbols as graphically showing the realtive size of the items on each side. Bigger is next to the side of the symbol that is open or covers more space, smaller is next to the side of the symbol that is closed or covers less space.)
Pzavon 23:20, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Ah thanks for clearing that up for me. Now I understand. So would this mean that petrol won't ignite if it is -45 C or lower? And would it also mean diesel won't ignite if the temperature is below 50 C, since the flashpoint is above 50 C? Not even a spark or flame could ignite diesel if the temperature wasn't 50 C or over?
Sort of. Sometimes flames are also sources of heat as well as being sources of ignition. A spark that is merely a source of ignition will not ignite a flammable liquid when it and its environment is below its flashpoint. A flame that is also a source of heat (a blow torch, for example) may locally raise the temperature above the flashpoint and cause ignition. If the blowtorch is then removed, whether the liquid will continue burning depends on whether the fire is able to maintain the local environment above the flashpoint.
What is being ignited is the vapor immediately above the liquid surface, not the liquid itself, so you are also looking at enough energy to vaporize the liquid sufficiently to make a combustible mixture with air. Pzavon 17:16, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Mechanism - involves heat of combustion?Edit

Pzavon, I guess you could give some sort of answer to this and possibly include it somewhere (in short): is the fact that different vapour concentrations are needed to sustain the burning of the vapour related to the heat being released from the burning vapour? So that a substance with a high enthalpy of combustion would require less vapour concentration, because the heat evolved will sustain the fire even at low concentrations? Or have I not really understood the concept of flash point, proposing this? Question posted 25 July 2007 by

This is far from my specialty, but I would think that is not the case. The minimum concentration needed to sustain combustion relates to the ease with which the vapor oxidizes, and that is not, I think, directly dependent on temperature (although all chemical reactions are faster at higer temperatures). The flash point is simply the liquid temperature at which the vapor concentration just above the liquid surface reaches a sufficient concentration to be able to flash, or be ignighted. Sustained combustion is not a requirement of Flash Point, only that what is there will flash over. Generally a higher temperature (or vapor concentration) is required to sustain combustion. Once sustained combustion is established, it is likely that the heat from the combustion reaction will contribute to the continued evaporation of the combustible liquid. (The is how a candle works.) Pzavon 01:09, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Question Regarding Diesel vs. Gasoline SectionEdit

The question I have refers to this caption of the article:

"Diesel is designed for use in a high-compression engine. Air is compressed until it has been heated above the autoignition temperature of diesel; then the fuel is injected as a high-pressure spray, keeping the fuel-air mix within the flammable limits of diesel. There is no ignition source. Therefore, diesel is required to have a high flash point and a low autoignition temperature."

I understand why a diesel engine needs a low autoignition temperature (no sparkplug & unscavenged, unburnt fuel is imcompressible), but why does it have a higher flashpoint? Once diesel fuel is introduced into the cylinder the intention is for it to burn, rapidly. Doesn't the atomisation of the fuel spray encourage evaporation anyways? I could understand if it is just a byproduct of the manufacturing process (i.e., no consideration due its irrelevance on the operation of the engine), but if it was intentional the reasoning has lost me. Apart from compression and the ignition source, I don't know of any differences between a diesel or a gasoline engine...

I hope someone could clear up the issue here, and if need be on the article itself. LostCause 09:08, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I think your understanding is correct, especially since the owner's manuals for some older diesel vehicles recommend mixing unleaded gas with diesel in cold weather, if winterized diesel is not available. This is intended to retard gelling of the fuel, but as a side effect it effectively lowers the flash point of the mixture to that of gasoline. (talk) 00:21, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Table of flash pointsEdit

The Table given does not say whether the flash points given were determined by closed or open cup (talk) 14:44, 13 October 2008 (UTC)Philip137.158.152.206 (talk) 14:44, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

New section with diagrams?Edit

Anyone want to add a section about how the flash point is found?

Information and diagram ideas can be found here[1].

FreeT (talk) 00:30, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I need a list of fuels which contains flash and fire point of the fuel . if found please mail

to 0anilkumar0@gmail.comMedia:Italic text  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 6 September 2009 (UTC) 


changed this to JP-4 as per Wiki on military jet fuel —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:52, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Temperature Comparison vs Temperature ConversionEdit

In the Measurement section I found it incorrectly stated, in part (erroneous phrase in italics):

Closed cup testers normally give lower values for the flash point than open cup (typically 5–10 °C (41–50 °F)) 

In this context, the temperature is being compared (a temperature difference) rather than converted (to a thermometric temperature), and as such "5–10 °C" equals "9–18 °F", rather than the stated value of "41–50 °F". This is a function of the conversion rate alone, rather than the full conversion rate + offset. In a similar sense one would correctly say "5–10 °C equals 5–10 K", rather than incorrectly say "5–10 °C equals 278–283 K" when discussing a Celsius/Kelvin comparison. YodaWhat (talk) 15:36, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Looks like advertisingEdit

I will come back here later and edit to remove marketing information. --Taquito1 (talk) 13:43, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

2stroke oilEdit

How high is the flashpoint of 2 stroke oil? And how does 2 stroke gasoline ignition temperatures differ from regular gasoline? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:26, 19 April 2018 (UTC)


I am knowledgeable in the area of flammability of chemical substances. I think this article lacks several pieces of information that it should contain. 1. Flash Point is a measure of hazard. It can be used by firefighting personnel, and those concerned with the safe storage, transportation, or use of the material. 2. Flash Point specifically tests vapor over a specific amount of material, in either an open or closed space. Open space (open cup) testing is problematic in that ventilation is required for lab/test safety, but is undefined procedurally. Closed space (closed cup) testing is problematic since the time to reach vapor equilibrium is undefined (and variable) and yet assumed to hold. In some testing apparatus, the ignition source is inserted by opening the "closed" cover, hence allowing some air to enter and fumes to leave (as well as disturbing the 'head space'). In general, timing of the test is poorly constrained but is clearly important. 2.5 Powders and mists can be explosive but are outside the scope of these methods.3. Few liquids and solids burn in air. Generally, it is the vapor around (above) the liquid/solid that burns, and this depends on the vapor concentration, air composition and pressure, and temperature. (for instance, some chlorinated organics inhibit combustion). 4. With (arguably) few exceptions all organics will burn at a sufficiently high temperature. (Almost all of those that do not burn, instead will decompose (this decomposition may be explosive)).5. Some organic vapors may accumulate to concentrations ABOVE the Upper Explosive Limit (UEL) and will not, in that condition, burn. (Since this requires confinement, this can be a very dangerous situation because disturbances often involve mixing the vapor with air (i.e. opening the container, cooling the space, etc.) 6. The various cups, open, closed, stirred are convenient and (relatively) inexpensive industrial methods and can be used with other information to assess fire risk of the material in many industrial and commercial settings. 7. Most tests are dynamic, temperature rises throughout the test until ignition occurs. An optimal test (IMHO) would be to use such dynamic testing as a "ranging" test and would be followed by holding the material (with stirring) at a temperature of, say, 2 C under the dynamic test for 1 minute and then attempting ignition. If the material fails to ignite, that temperature is less than the ignition point (*not* the autoignition pt.). The highest temperature tested which is "< (tested) ignition temperature" should be reported as the F.P. For some materials, this may not be feasible, since other reactions occur (i.e. changes in the head space air composition, changes in the chemical composition of the test material, formation of a concentration gradient in the bulk (or surface) of the test material, etc.). (talk) 15:29, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

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