NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Modeling Fires - The Next Generation of Tools.

pdf icon Modeling Fires - The Next Generation of Tools. (28 K)
Jones, W. W.

Society of Fire Protection Engineers and WPI Center for Firesafety Studies. Computer Applications in Fire Protection Engineering. Technical Symposium. Proceedings. Final Program. June 20-21, 1996, Worcester, MA, 13-18 pp, 1996.


fire protection engineering; predictive models; zone models; fire models; computational fluid dynamics


This paper discusses fire modeling and how it is changing. The examples will be based on the tools that are being developed at NIST, in the Building and Fire Research Laboratory, but the general concepts are universally true. Modeling of fire, in the sense most understand it, is a relatively new discipline. Although Kawagoe first proposed that one might be able to estimate the outcome of a fire scenario in the early fifties, and Emmons actually tried to make it happen in the seventies, it wasn't until the early eighties that the science of fire and engineering applications became popular. Much of the impetus in the United States came from the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, America Burning, after which the Center for Fire Research was established. Subsequently, the Federal Trade Commission developed a formal complaint that small scale testing did not adequately address the real behavior of materials. This led to an interest in tests which measured fire performance properties rather than simple classifications.