Approach to Modeling Flame Spread Over Polyurethane Foam-Covered Walls. (POSTER ABSTRACTS)
Approach to Modeling Flame Spread Over Polyurethane
Foam-Covered Walls. (POSTER ABSTRACTS)
Madrzykowski, D.; Kerber, S.; Bryner, N. P.;
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), 1636-1636 p., 2005.
fire research; fire safety; fire science; polyurethane
foams; flame spread; walls; fire growth; heat transfer;
compartment fires; computational fluid dynamics; heat
release rate; fire investigations; forensics
Computer simulation has been demonstrated to be
credible, when properly applied, as a tool to help fill
in critical details of a fire incident and to
demonstrate the value of alternative building designs
and fire safety measures. This poster presents the
results of numerical simulations and analyses of fire
spread over polyurethane foam-covered walls that relate
to the conditions in The Station nightclub fire in West
Warwick, Rhode Island, on Feb. 20, 2003. The numerical
models used in this investigation were the NIST Fire
Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and Smokeview. The essential
fire properties of the materials needed as input to FDS
were generated from small scale and real scale
measurements described in the final report on the NIST
investigation and presented in a companion poster at
this symposium. The key parameters were the combustion
properties of the foam/plywood wall; i.e., ignition
temperature, heat of vaporization, and maximum burning
rate. The results from cone calorimeter tests of the
polyurethane foam could not be used directly in the
simulation because of the composite nature of the
foam-plus-plywood fuel on the wall of the nightclub. A
comparison between laboratory measurements in a
full-scale mock-up of the region around the performance
platform and the FDS simulations of the experiments
indicated a lag in fire development in the simulation
relative to the experiments, but once the simulated fire
grew large enough the growth rate and smoke development
were consistent with the experiments. The temperature,
heat flux, and the oxygen volume fractions were used to
assess the degree to which the numerical model was
capable of reproducing the large-scale experiments, and,
in turn, of predicting the conditions during the early
minutes of fire spread in the actual nightclub.