Timber is an essential raw material needed in constructing one thing or the other in all fields of human endevour. It is combustible. In this research, fire characteristics of fifty-seven (57) tropical timbers were investigated. The characteristics studied are: flame duration (FD) and oven dry density (ODD). The tropical timbers with the highest FD are C. nitida, P. carribean, A. bateri, A. indica, M. altissima,I. tomentosa, G. gnetoides, B. gracilipes and a variety of M. indica respectively.The one with the highest ODD is Manilkara. The ones with the least of these fire characteristics (FD) were B. bonopozense and S. campanulala (1.4 x 10 sec). Although some tropical timbers with lower ODDs possess high FD, some of the timber with higher ODDs possess lower FD, it can be said that there is neither inverse nor direct relationship between the FD of the tropical timbers and their oven dry densities. Though density is an important factor, in determining the fire characteristics of timber, the cellular structure, molecular composition, orientation of fiber (direction of grain) and timber extractives (e.g. resins) deserve a special attention in explaining the results. The aim of this work is to identify the timbers that are fire resistant and those that are not and to compare the FD of these tropical timbers with their oven dry densities.
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