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NIST Sponsored Research in Sprinkler Performance Modeling.

pdf icon NIST Sponsored Research in Sprinkler Performance Modeling. (158 K)
McGrattan, K. B.; Floyd, J. E.

Research and Practice: Bridging the Gap. Fire Suppression and Detection Research Application Symposium. Proceedings. Fire Protection Research Foundation. January 23-25, 2002, Tampa, FL, 238-246 pp, 2002.


fire suppression; fire detection; fire research; fire safety; fire models; sprinklers; droplets; evaporation


Rapidly changing building designs, uses, materials, contents, fire protection and the general intermix of industrial/commercial and residential occupancies has created a need to understand the potential hazards and losses from fires and the performance of fire protection systems under conditions that may not be specifically addressed by historic fire testing and codes. In the absence of an accurate understanding of potential fire events, excessively conservative decisions may be made, usually increasing costs and creating barriers to innovation. It is impractical, and in many cases too hazardous, to physically test all fire scenarios of interest. In cooperation with industry, a numerical fire model, Fire Dynamics Simulator, is being developed at NIST to evaluate the performance of fire protection systems in buildings. The model has been used to generate predictions of fires in industrial facilities protected entirely or in part by automatic fire sprinklers. The heart of the model is a Large Eddy Simulation (LES) based fire nodel with the capability of simulating large scale industrial fires. Because the model provides far more detailed simulations than zone models can, it requires more detailed information about the fuels, building materials and fire protection systems. The Building and Fire Research Laboratory at NIST has supported efforts, both internally and through its grants program, to develop measurement techniques to generate this information. These measurements include droplet size distributions, spray patterns, droplet trajectories, and heat transfer coefficients. The results of these studies will be used as input to the model so that realistic sprinklers systems can be evaluated.