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Large Fire Experiments for Fire Model Evaluation.

pdf icon Large Fire Experiments for Fire Model Evaluation. (464 K)
Evans, D. D.

Interscience Communications Ltd.; National Institute of Standards and Technology; Building Research Establishment; and Society of Fire Protection Engineers; Swedish National Testing and Research Institute. Interflam '96. International Interflam Conference, 7th Proceedings. March 26-28, 1996, Cambridge, England, Interscience Communications Ltd., London, England, Franks, C. A.; Grayson, S., Editor(s)(s), 329-334 pp, 1996.


fire safety; large scale fire tests; fire research; fire tests; hydrocarbon fuels; predictive models; oil spills; smoke yield; field tests; performance based codes; research facilities


Recent movement towards performance based evaluation of building safety has placed a premium on demonstrating the accuracy of engineering methods and increased the demand for fire performance data from large scale experiments. Data from large scale experiments are generally the basis for development and evaluation of fire models. Verification of engineering methods for prediction of fire related performance of structures, contents, and fire protection systems has become a priority need to support the development of performance based codes and standards. Generally a great impediment to model verification is the lack of means to quantify the degree of agreement between experiments and predictions or repeated experiments. Today, the most widely used fire models are based on two-zone predictive methods for fire flow in buildings. These methods along with implementation of engineering correlations developed from large scale fire experiments which include those for prediction of the performance of fire protection systems form the basis of modern fire safety engineering practice. The widespread availability of fast computing power, particularly in the fire research community, has made it possible to model fires in buildings using high resolution field modeling techniques. These are available commercially from engineering software developers and as research tools developed in many of the fire safety laboratories around the world. As an example, NIST has experimented with the capabilities of Large Eddy Simulation technology to predict fire driven flows inside and outside of structures. The results have shown that modeling of building fire flows at a resolution of several centimeters is feasible. The advent of high resolution calculations for use in fire safety analysis has increased the demand for high resolution measurements of fire conditions in buildings. To meet the demands of the user community, large scale fire testing is increasing in scale, in the number of quantities measured, and in temporal and spacial resolution of the measurements. In addition, means are being developed to readily exchange data among users and research facilities.