Why does some wood spit and crackle when you burn it?

18 December 2005

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Question

When you put wood on a fire, why does some wood spit and crackle while other wood burns slowly and quietly?

Answer

There are a couple of reasons for this. It's usually to do with how dry the wood is. What splits the wood apart is the expansion of pockets of water vaporising as the wood gets very hot. The expansion is like its own mini explosion.

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