Numerical Simulation of Fire Spreading in a Steel Skeleton-Drywall System Building

Dionysios Kolaitis, Eleni Asimakopoulou, Maria Founti

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Fire protection systems in buildings are commonly regulated using prescriptive-based codes and standards, which exhibit small flexibility for innovative solutions and cost-effective designs. Performance-based fire safety design can alleviate such restrictions and several countries have started to adopt such methodologies in the recent years. In this context, the utilization of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools to accurately describe the fire and its impact on buildings and people is gaining significant momentum in the fire safety engineering community. In this work, a CFD tool is used to study the thermal behaviour of a two-storey residential house subjected to a typical domestic fire scenario. The building comprises a steel-skeleton with drywall systems as partitions and external cladding; the walls consist of multiple layers of plasterboard and insulation materials. When plasterboard is subjected to a high temperature environment, water molecules bound in its crystal lattice are released; this “dehydration” process is expected to enhance the building’s fire resistance. The Fire Dynamic Simulator code is used to simulate the momentum-, heat- and mass-transfer phenomena occurring inside the building during the fire. The Large Eddy Simulation concept together with a mixture-fraction model are used to describe the developing reactive turbulent flow and the combustion phenomena, respectively. The physical properties of the utilized multi-layered building components are taken into account in the simulations to accurately describe their thermal response; the highly detailed computational geometry is based on actual architectural drawings. Numerical predictions of the temporal evolution of a range of fire safety related quantities, such as gas velocity, gas- and wall-temperatures and toxic gas concentrations are obtained for the entire 3-dimensional domain that represents the interior of the building. Gas velocity and temperature predictions are used to visualize the developing flow-field and to estimate the heat flux to which each building element is exposed. Predicted wall temperatures allow the assessment of the investigated type of building in terms of fire resistance. Finally, gas temperature and toxic gas concentration predictions enable risk assessment for the tenants of the building in the event of a fire.

Conference

ConferenceInternational Council for Building World Congress
CountryUnited Kingdom
CitySalford Quays
Period10/05/1013/05/10
Internet address

Fingerprint

Steel
Fires
Gases
Computer simulation
Fire resistance
Poisons
Momentum
Computational fluid dynamics
Temperature
Safety engineering
Computational geometry
Fire protection
Large eddy simulation
Dehydration
Crystal lattices
Risk assessment
Turbulent flow
Heat flux
Insulation
Flow fields

Keywords

  • fire safety
  • CFD
  • drywall systems
  • gypsum plasterboard

Cite this

Kolaitis, D., Asimakopoulou, E., & Founti, M. (2010). Numerical Simulation of Fire Spreading in a Steel Skeleton-Drywall System Building. Paper presented at International Council for Building World Congress, Salford Quays, United Kingdom.
Kolaitis, Dionysios ; Asimakopoulou, Eleni ; Founti, Maria. / Numerical Simulation of Fire Spreading in a Steel Skeleton-Drywall System Building. Paper presented at International Council for Building World Congress, Salford Quays, United Kingdom.12 p.
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author = "Dionysios Kolaitis and Eleni Asimakopoulou and Maria Founti",
year = "2010",
language = "English",
note = "International Council for Building World Congress ; Conference date: 10-05-2010 Through 13-05-2010",
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Kolaitis, D, Asimakopoulou, E & Founti, M 2010, 'Numerical Simulation of Fire Spreading in a Steel Skeleton-Drywall System Building' Paper presented at International Council for Building World Congress, Salford Quays, United Kingdom, 10/05/10 - 13/05/10, .

Numerical Simulation of Fire Spreading in a Steel Skeleton-Drywall System Building. / Kolaitis, Dionysios; Asimakopoulou, Eleni; Founti, Maria.

2010. Paper presented at International Council for Building World Congress, Salford Quays, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Numerical Simulation of Fire Spreading in a Steel Skeleton-Drywall System Building

AU - Kolaitis, Dionysios

AU - Asimakopoulou, Eleni

AU - Founti, Maria

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Fire protection systems in buildings are commonly regulated using prescriptive-based codes and standards, which exhibit small flexibility for innovative solutions and cost-effective designs. Performance-based fire safety design can alleviate such restrictions and several countries have started to adopt such methodologies in the recent years. In this context, the utilization of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools to accurately describe the fire and its impact on buildings and people is gaining significant momentum in the fire safety engineering community. In this work, a CFD tool is used to study the thermal behaviour of a two-storey residential house subjected to a typical domestic fire scenario. The building comprises a steel-skeleton with drywall systems as partitions and external cladding; the walls consist of multiple layers of plasterboard and insulation materials. When plasterboard is subjected to a high temperature environment, water molecules bound in its crystal lattice are released; this “dehydration” process is expected to enhance the building’s fire resistance. The Fire Dynamic Simulator code is used to simulate the momentum-, heat- and mass-transfer phenomena occurring inside the building during the fire. The Large Eddy Simulation concept together with a mixture-fraction model are used to describe the developing reactive turbulent flow and the combustion phenomena, respectively. The physical properties of the utilized multi-layered building components are taken into account in the simulations to accurately describe their thermal response; the highly detailed computational geometry is based on actual architectural drawings. Numerical predictions of the temporal evolution of a range of fire safety related quantities, such as gas velocity, gas- and wall-temperatures and toxic gas concentrations are obtained for the entire 3-dimensional domain that represents the interior of the building. Gas velocity and temperature predictions are used to visualize the developing flow-field and to estimate the heat flux to which each building element is exposed. Predicted wall temperatures allow the assessment of the investigated type of building in terms of fire resistance. Finally, gas temperature and toxic gas concentration predictions enable risk assessment for the tenants of the building in the event of a fire.

AB - Fire protection systems in buildings are commonly regulated using prescriptive-based codes and standards, which exhibit small flexibility for innovative solutions and cost-effective designs. Performance-based fire safety design can alleviate such restrictions and several countries have started to adopt such methodologies in the recent years. In this context, the utilization of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools to accurately describe the fire and its impact on buildings and people is gaining significant momentum in the fire safety engineering community. In this work, a CFD tool is used to study the thermal behaviour of a two-storey residential house subjected to a typical domestic fire scenario. The building comprises a steel-skeleton with drywall systems as partitions and external cladding; the walls consist of multiple layers of plasterboard and insulation materials. When plasterboard is subjected to a high temperature environment, water molecules bound in its crystal lattice are released; this “dehydration” process is expected to enhance the building’s fire resistance. The Fire Dynamic Simulator code is used to simulate the momentum-, heat- and mass-transfer phenomena occurring inside the building during the fire. The Large Eddy Simulation concept together with a mixture-fraction model are used to describe the developing reactive turbulent flow and the combustion phenomena, respectively. The physical properties of the utilized multi-layered building components are taken into account in the simulations to accurately describe their thermal response; the highly detailed computational geometry is based on actual architectural drawings. Numerical predictions of the temporal evolution of a range of fire safety related quantities, such as gas velocity, gas- and wall-temperatures and toxic gas concentrations are obtained for the entire 3-dimensional domain that represents the interior of the building. Gas velocity and temperature predictions are used to visualize the developing flow-field and to estimate the heat flux to which each building element is exposed. Predicted wall temperatures allow the assessment of the investigated type of building in terms of fire resistance. Finally, gas temperature and toxic gas concentration predictions enable risk assessment for the tenants of the building in the event of a fire.

KW - fire safety

KW - CFD

KW - drywall systems

KW - gypsum plasterboard

M3 - Paper

ER -

Kolaitis D, Asimakopoulou E, Founti M. Numerical Simulation of Fire Spreading in a Steel Skeleton-Drywall System Building. 2010. Paper presented at International Council for Building World Congress, Salford Quays, United Kingdom.