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Simulation of a Compartment Flashover Fire Using Hand Calculations, Zone Models and a Field Model.

pdf icon Simulation of a Compartment Flashover Fire Using Hand Calculations, Zone Models and a Field Model. (1000 K)
Spearpoint, M. J.; Mowrer, F. W.; McGrattan, K. B.

International Conference on Fire Research and Engineering (ICFRE3), Third (3rd). Proceedings. Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and International Association of Fire Safety Science (IAFSS). October 4-8, 1999, Chicago, IL, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Boston, MA, 3-14 pp, 1999.


fire research; fire protection engineering; compartments; flashover; zone models; field models; room fires; fire tests; methodology; flame height; layer heights; temperature; computation; fire models; computational fluid dynamics


A fully furnished compartment fire was conducted in a 5.2 m by 4.6 m by 2.4 m high room. Ventilation was provided through a single open doorway 0.9 m wide and 2.0 m high. Ignition of a pillow located on a loveseat was achieved with the halogen bulb of a torchiere lamp. The fire was confined to the pillow for approximately the first 5 1/2 minutes of the test before spreading to the loveseat and thereafter taking about 4 minutes to reach flashover conditions. Temperature profiles at three locations and heat flux at floor level near the center of the room were measured. This paper discusses attempts to model the conditions within the compartment using three methods, including 1) hand calculations; 2) three zone fire models; and 3) a computational fluid dynamics model. Several fire growth scenarios were developed using visual observations and rate of heat release data from published sources. Predictions for flame height, upper layer temperature and layer interface height were deveioped for each methodology or model. These predictions are compared with experimental data obtained from the fire test.