Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FLAME SPREAD — Result In Brief

Project ID: 328784
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: United Kingdom

Advanced modelling to increase fire safety in buildings

EU-funded scientists developed a new computer model that efficiently simulates upward flame spread and fire growth in closed spaces such as buildings.
Advanced modelling to increase fire safety in buildings
Previous work on flame spread was largely concentrated on 1D or 2D simulations using off-the-shelf commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. However, such software usually had only limited representations of flame spread scenarios.

The FLAME SPREAD (Fully coupled fluid-solid simulation of upward flame spread and fire growth) initiative changed that by introducing a new model to OpenFOAM – the free, open-source software for CFD – that predicts upward flame spread with complex flame shapes and geometries. Unlike previous studies, FLAME SPREAD also used the latest available combustion and soot models for fire simulation as well as the newly implemented grey gas models for gaseous radiative heat transfer. It then focused on coupling the radiative heat transfer and soot treatment with pyrolysis calculations.

FLAME SPREAD's new model captured well the rate of surface regression and the time it reaches the pyrolysis temperature. Results demonstrated that it can predict the temperature rise in flame spread with reasonable accuracy. For small-scale wall fires, pyrolysis rates and heat flux computed results showed good agreement with experimental data. In addition, the inclusion of the leading-edge effect was found to improve the prediction accuracy for convective heat flux.

The new model can also accurately predict the flame spread rate, the heat release rate of the fire, and the flame height in the case of large-scale fires. This validated model was then used to simulate flame spread at different inclinations as well as predict upward flame spread.

FLAME SPREAD has spread the word to the industry and scientific community about its developments through a number of seminars and workshops.

Related information


Fire safety, model, flame spread, computational fluid dynamics, OpenFOAM, grey gas, soot, pyrolysis
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