Biology: How Does Wind Speed Affect A Candle

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Dana Crist
Mrs. Hawkins
H Biology 9- Period 4
28 November 2016

How Does Wind Speed Affect a Candle Flame?

Wind has been around since the beginning of time with the ability to move air. Air contains roughly twenty percent oxygen, and this oxygen is what the entire human race lives on to breathe and function. Oxygen, also, is very reactive and is involved in many chemical reactions here on Earth. One of oxygen’s key relationships is its one with fire. Fire has given humans a light source for thousands of years and plays a great role in the development of their species. A popular way in which fire is manifested is through the use of candles. The fire on a candle is affected by wind, but how does wind speed affect a candle flame? The flame
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The oxygen and air are proven to be very important to the combustion of the fire when Drysdale states “While “removing the supply of air” will certainly cause the fire to extinguish, to do this it is only necessary to reduce the oxygen concentration below a critical level” (Drysdale). With oxygen being one of the three necessities of the fire triangle (a fuel and heat are as well), it is imperative that it must stay in contact with the fire to maintain the combustion process. The reasoning behind oxygen being such an important element of fire’s survival is that it serves as the reactant in the production of heat. Combining with the fuel, usually made of hydrogen or carbon, allows for the production of CO2 and H2O. These compounds form the body of fire. Since wind carries oxygen, it would add extra oxygen to the fire. This would then fuel the fire and make it react in combustion even more. The text relays the speed of wind as a major factor in the spread of fire in revealing “First, the wind induces a forward lean of the flame front, which reduces the distance between the flame and the unignited fuel. Second, increased wind speed also increases the rate of convective heat transfer between the heated air and the unignited fuel particles” (What Variables Influence Fire Behavior?). This would then imply that the greater wind speed would push the fire closer to the ground than a lesser one. Thus, this would reduce the time it takes for the flame to spread. A greater wind speed will have a profound effect on the movement of the heat if it spreads faster. The heat would affect nearby surroundings faster, increasing the spread even faster. Wax should follow this criteria and burn faster with a faster spread of
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