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Review of Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems: Fundamental Studies.

pdf icon Review of Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems: Fundamental Studies. (1839 K)
Liu, Z.; Kim, A. K.

Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 3, 32-50, 2000.


water mist; fire suppression; nozzles; extinguishing; cooling; oxygen; kinetics; drop sizes; sprays; temperature; mixing; additives; computer programs


The progress on the research and application of water mist systems in fire suppression has been substantial over the last decade. To bring this work into focus, a review has been undertaken td identify future developments and potential efficacy improvements for water mist fire suppression systems. This paper, as a first step, provides a review of the fundamental research in water mist fire suppression systems. This includes a review of extinguishing mechanisms and the factors that influence the performance of water mist, such as spray characteristics, enclosure effects, dynamic mixing, the use of additives and methods of generating water mist. Recent studies on the use of computer modeling for the development of water mist fire suppression systems are also reviewed and discussed. The review shows that the extinguishing mechanisms and the role of spray characteristics in fire suppression have become well understood and identified. Water mist does not behave like a "true" gaseous agent in fire suppression. The effectiveness of a water mist system in fire suppression is dependent on spray characteristics (the distribution of droplet sizes, flux density and spray dynamics) with respect to the fire scenario (shielding of the fuel, fire size and ventilation conditions). Other factors, such as enclosure effect and the dynamic mixing created by the discharge of water mist, also affect the performance of water mist in fire suppression. A combination of experimental and computational modeling studies with validation by fire tests will make the development of water mist systems much more efficient and effective.