Further Measurements of Fire Spread Through a Room With Polyurethane Foam Covered Walls. (POSTER ABSTRACTS)
Further Measurements of Fire Spread Through a Room With
Polyurethane Foam Covered Walls. (POSTER ABSTRACTS)
Bryner, N. P.; Madrzykowski, D.; Grosshandler, W. L.
Fire Safety Science. Proceedings. Eighth (8th)
International Symposium. (POSTER ABSTRACTS).
International Association for Fire Safety Science
(IAFSS). September 18-23, 2005, Beijing, China, Intl.
Assoc. for Fire Safety Science, Boston, MA, Gottuk, D.
T.; Lattimer, B. Y., Editor(s), 1605-1605 p., 2005.
fire research; fire safety; fire science; polyurethane
foams; fire spread; flame spread; fire growth;
compartment fires; forensics; heat transfer; toxicity;
heat release rate; fire investigations; sprinklers
Experiments in a mock-up of the platform area of The
Station nightclub were conducted to characterize the
fire growth and spread in the early stage of the fire.
Approximately 20% of the nightclub was reconstructed in
real scale with polyurethane foam covered walls, the
drummer's alcove, the raised platform, carpeting, and
wood paneling. The experimental facility and a
preliminary analysis of the data were reported
previously. The complete data set is included in the
final report on NIST's investigation into the incident.
Measurements of the temperatures, heat fluxes, and gas
volume fractions allowed the performance of a computer
fire model used in the investigation to be
assessed. (A companion poster in these proceedings deals
with the techniques used to model the complex problem of
fire spread over the polyurethane covered plywood
walls.) Two real-scale tests were conducted: one without
automatic sprinklers, and one with automatic sprinklers.
By designing the real-scale mockup experiments
carefully, in terms of controlling factors such as fuel
and ventilation, the experiments provided a means to
determine the benefit of automatic sprinklers in a fire
similar to what occurred in The Station, and to gain
insight as to conditions in the nightclub during the
early fire growth and spread, in particular the levels
of CO and HCN since these cannot be predicted by the
computer fire model. Between 61 s and 92 s after
ignition of the polyurethane foam near the drummer's
alcove, the conditions became untenable at head height
everywhere within the test room, reaching temperatures
approaching 500DG C, heat fluxes in excess of 30 kW/m2,
oxygen volume fractions below 10%, and carbon monoxide
and hydrogen cyanide levels greater than 1.0% and
0.075%, respectively. Similar measurements with the room
equipped with an NFPA 13-compliant sprinkler system
indicated that the room remained tenable for the
duration of the test, although a remnant of the fire in
the upper corners of the alcove did have to be
extinguished manually at the termination of the test.