Geometrical characteristics of externally venting flames: Assessment of fire engineering design correlations using medium-scale compartment-façade fire tests

Eleni Asimakopoulou, Dionysios Kolaitis, Maria Founti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    11 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    In a fully developed under-ventilated compartment fire, flames may spill out of external openings (e.g. windows); Externally Venting Flames (EVF) pose a significant risk of fire spreading to adjacent floors or buildings. The main aim of this work is to comparatively assess a range of fire engineering design correlations used to describe the external dimensions of the EVF envelope. The predictive accuracy of each correlation is evaluated through comparison with experimental data obtained in a medium-scale compartment-façade fire facility, using typical fire loads suggested in the Eurocode. A series of fire tests is performed, employing a ¼ scale model of the ISO 9705 room, equipped with an additional extended façade. An “expendable” fuel source (n-hexane) is utilized to effectively simulate realistic building fire conditions. An extensive sensor network is used to monitor the dynamic behaviour of a broad range of important EVF physical parameters and a dedicated image processing tool is developed to allow estimation of the EVF envelope main dimensions (e.g. height, width, projection). Digital camera imaging is used to determine the main geometrical characteristics of the EVF envelope. Comparison of fire engineering design correlation predictions with experimental data reveals that correlations for the estimation of EVF height err on the safe side in under-ventilated fire conditions; decreasing the fire load results in under-prediction of EVF height and projection. It is shown that EVF projection and width strongly depend on both excess heat release rate and height. In addition, the necessity to derive appropriate criteria for the identification of the EVF projection is demonstrated. The obtained extensive set of experimental data, covering three different fire load levels, can be also used to validate numerical simulation tools or evaluate the accuracy of other available fire design correlations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)780-790
    JournalJournal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
    Volume44
    Early online date12 Sep 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

    Keywords

    • Externally Venting Flames (EVF)
    • Fire engineering design
    • Façade fire
    • Flame dimensions
    • Fire test
    • Measurements

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