Have you ever thought about record and how quickly it seems to burn? i mean, we simply take it for granted the it burns quickly, yet have you ever thought about how or why?


In this article, we are going come be exploring the physics the paper, spring in details at the way in which document burns, that is igniting temperature, and also its combustion temperature. Us will also be trying out the same concerns in regards come cardboard, paper’s more thick cousin if friend will.

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So, if you have some burning questions about paper (pun entirely intended) the you can not wait come answer, we can just have actually the answers you space looking for.

What is the burning temperature of paper?

It is a popular belief that file burns at approximately 451 levels Fahrenheit. At the very least that is what is commonly reported (and perhaps greatly influenced by beam Bradbury and also his book around burning books). However, isn’t this a tiny strange to you?

Surely document burns at a much lower warmth than this? ns mean, it literally is the definition of paper-thin and also it have the right to be charred with the finish of a cigarette.

Something rather of prestige that we desire to note is the reality that this is rather a differed answer, as it will also depend on the form of paper you space burning.

I mean, many of the time, fire will remain the same, no matter what has actually ignited the fire (be it matches, a lighter, or firewood), but the kind of record may vary.

For example, you might get various results based on the materials the paper is made from, the thickness the it, even if it is it is colored, and also how wet or dried it is.

Because of this reasons, the number reported that 451 degrees Fahrenheit is in reality an average temperature. The actual figure can vary from between 424 levels Fahrenheit and 475 levels Fahrenheit. Because that our metic readers, this is about 218 levels Celsius and 246 levels celsius.

You should likewise consider the truth that the an interpretation of burning may be varied, too. It might mean among three things. Because that example, questioning at what temperature record burns can be referring to the temperature at which a naked flame can set a piece of document on fire.

It may actually refer to the temperature it needs to be for the item of paper to simply burst into flames spontaneously (wow that would have to be a hot room).

Lastly, the may also refer to the temperature the is given off from the piece of document when it is burn (i.e the what the it gives off).

Of course, this is there is no considering the alters that the area around the fire and also flames have the right to have top top the temperature. Because that example, any type of atmospheric pressure drops deserve to really influence the temperature at which paper burns.

That gift said, this may not in reality be too much of a concern unless you space within a lab where you can physically regulate the pressure of the setting (or, y’know, at the top of mount Everest or the bottom the the sea).

With every one of this in mind, that is clear that the precise temperature that document burns at can be varied. Needless come say, whatever that temperature is, it’s going to be hot, hot, hot!

What is the Ignition Temperature that paper?

So, psychic in the ahead section when we discussed that the definition of ‘burning’ might refer come a number of things. Well, this is one of them! The ignition temperature of miscellaneous is the temperature at which a naked flame have the right to light miscellaneous on fire.

You might be thinking this is a trick question. After all, aren’t every flames hot? Surely any flame could ignite a piece of paper, whether the be a candle flame, a match, or something else entirely.

Well yes, friend are largely right. This is due to the fact that most flames room hot enough to burn the paper. However, friend should likewise consider that different parts the the flame are different in temperature.

The hottest part is the facility of the fire which is frequently blue in color. If you placed a item of record into this climate it will virtually certainly burn. Even on the slightly cooler outer part of the flame, your paper will likely burn.

However, if you float it just above the flame, the results are much less obvious. The will count on the temperature, the distance from the flame, and the record itself.

Now, that is worth stating that the temperatures of different varieties of flames room actually rather different. For example, because that a consistent candle, you deserve to expect a naked fire to have actually a temperature of approximately 1670 levels Fahrenheit. Super hot, right?

Well, simply wait till you hear this...it jumps up to 3,488 for an alcohol flame, and a chuck 4074 for a fire from a Butane-containing lighter (like the ones that are used for cigarettes)!

So, together you have the right to see, the igniting temperature is really varied!

What is the combustion Temperature of paper?


So, as we stated at the start of the novel, ray Bradbury’s novel 451 Fahrenheit has led people to believe that this is the temperature in ~ which publications can spontaneously burst into flames.

This has actually been widely accepted, yet it has actually now concerned light that scientists think this number is in reality a tiny low. In fact, it is much more likely to be around 481 degrees Fahrenheit, a good 30 or so levels higher. Sure, a minor amount, yet interesting every the same.

Does that median you deserve to start throwing publications into an oven or room heated in ~ 481 degrees Fahrenheit and also watch them spontaneously combust?

No, that doesn’t, since at least for a tiny while, the document will just absorb the heat and act together an insulator. Besides, you might need much more oxygen to actually set it alight.

That gift said, it will certainly eventually capture alight, and also when the does it will burn an extremely quickly, and also in just a minute it will certainly turn entirely to ash.

Therefore, together you can see, the burning temperature that a book is 481 degrees Fahrenheit (or higher if possible). Back the problems need come be exactly right for it.

As a side keep in mind to this point, that is worth noting the this may likewise depend ~ above what the document is made from. The bulk of record is do from lumber pulp, and also it is the lumber pulp file that burns in ~ 481 degrees.

However, friend should consider that, if the paper is do from one more material such together Rayon or Cotton, then it may burn at a higher temperature (up to 1022 levels Fahrenheit).

That being said, that is unlikely the your record will it is in made from this, for this reason you have the right to just stick v 481 as your figure!

How hot is the Hottest part of document fire?

So, finally, we require to think about the temperature that is emitted through the fire of a paper fire. Remember when we talked around the different interpretations of burning earlier? Well, this is among them!

Now, regardless of how the document was collection alight, even if it is by igniting ~ above a naked flame or combusting because of the heat approximately it, the will additionally give off a distinctive temperature. Fire is hot and in this section, we will establish just how hot it can be.

Of course, this is not straightforward to measure, and also unless you space in a lab setup with every the crucial safety gear, you have to never attempt to number this the end at home.

However, we space pleased to report that various other researchers have discovered that the hottest part of the fire given off by burning record can reach roughly 1600 levels Fahrenheit.

This is based upon the presumption that nothing rather is being excellent in the atmosphere in which that is burn to increase that temperature further, of course. This is merely an estimate, yet in any case, the is mighty hot!

What is the Ignition Temperature the Cardboard?

One other factor to consider to do is in relationship to cardboard. Cardboard is much thicker 보다 paper, and also whilst that is similar, the is likely to behave differently in relation to fire.

What we typical is that the temperature needed to ignite something together thick as the cardboard will most likely be much higher than paper. The combustion temperature will likewise be higher.

This thought process is of course correct, and also we can confirm that in general, it is believed that cardboard needs 300 levels Fahrenheit more than document to be set alight. This means it needs about 800 degrees, do it contempt more an overwhelming (but still certainly likely) to collection on fire.

What is the Flashpoint?

Flashpoint merely refers come the ignition temperature and also combustion temperature. In cardboard, this is the same, and it is 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Together you could have guessed, this is varied once it come to record but will certainly be roughly 300 levels lower.

To conclude

So, to answer the initial questions regarding the temperature at which record ignites, combusts, and also burns, the answer is not rather as straightforward together you might be wishing. As our research has actually found, plenty of variables must be considered.

In terms of combustion, the specific temperature essential for a piece of document to spontaneously set alight is varied. Certainly, it will be a little greater than novelist ray Bradbury’s combustion insurance claims of 451, but not through a lot. 481 levels is the embraced amount.

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In regards to ignition, the record will likely burn on any type of flame because all flames will be over this 451 levels Fahrenheit mark. That said, it might depend ~ above the form of paper, the flame, and also where on the flame the file is placed.

The temperature provided off by a paper fire is also varied, however it is assumed that it can give off about 1600 levels Fahrenheit, i m sorry is hotter than we can even imagine!

Suffice to say, any kind of fire experiments should be left to the professionals, and also regardless the what fire you room near, keep document far far or else you could accidentally collection the entirety place top top fire, and yourself and others, at that!