PUBLICATIONS AND VIDEOS
A look back on developments in fire modelling
Speaker(s): Bjørn Erling Vembe
Organisation(s): DNV GL
Duration: 63 min
Mathematical modelling of fire stretches back to the 50s and 60s. The first models were based on dimensional analyses and correlations derived from experiments. The most famous are the Thomas correlation from the early 60s which is used for calculating flame heights from pool fires and later the Heskestad's plume correlation which gives the flow conditions in fire plumes. Later in the 70s when computers became available, compartment fire models and structural heat conduction models became tools available for engineers. The first compartment fires were typically calculated by one or two zone models where fire, mass and heat transfer between the zones were resolved by simple correlations.
As data power increased, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes have enabled us to directly calculate the flow fields and made it possible to analyse far more general and complex geometries. Simple correlations are still useful in relevant contexts. When simple correlations come short, it is quite common nowadays to use CFD codes to simulate fires. Today’s CFD tools for fire and explosions contain several sub-models for combustion, toxicity, soot and radiation. Furthermore, fire loads are integrated directly with structural response. CFD tools give the ability to evaluate fire risks, complete structural response including also the effect of passive fire protection (PFP), smoke spread and influence on human response and evacuation. The effect of active fire protection measures such as deluge, water monitors, curtains, etc. on both fires and structures can also be accounted for in CFD simulations.
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