Thermal characteristics of externally venting flames and their effect on the exposed façade surface

Eleni Asimakopoulou, Dionysios Kolaitis, Maria Founti

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Abstract

In a compartment fire, Externally Venting Flames (EVF) may significantly increase the risk of firespreading to adjacent floors or buildings, especially when combustible insulation materials are installed onthe building façade. An increasing number of recent reports suggest that existing fire engineering designmethodologies cannot describe with sufficient accuracy the characteristics of EVF under realistic fire loadconditions. In this context, a series of fire safety engineering design correlations used to describe the mainEVF thermal characteristics, namely EVF centreline temperature and EVF-induced heat flux on theexposed façade surface, are comparatively assessed. Towards this end, measurements obtained in amedium- and a large-scale compartment-façade fire test are employed; aiming to broaden the scope of thevalidation study, predictions of the investigated correlations are further compared to measurementsobtained in 6 large-scale fire tests found in the literature. It is found that the correlation proposed inEN1991-1-2 (Eurocode 1) for the estimation of the EVF centreline temperature is under-predicting themeasured values in large-scale fire tests. In addition, it is concluded that estimation of the local flameemissivity should take into account the specific fuel type used in each case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-460
JournalFire Safety Journal
Volume91
Early online date18 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

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Keywords

  • compartment fires
  • heat transfer
  • externally venting flames
  • façade fires
  • Eurocode

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