Research Papers

Applications of Heat Transfer Fundamentals to Fire Modeling

[+] Author and Article Information
O. A. Ezekoye

Deptartment of Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712

M. J. Hurley

Society of Fire Protection Engineers,
Bethesda, MD 20814

J. L. Torero

The University of Queensland,
Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia

K. B. McGrattan

National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Manuscript received November 8, 2012; final manuscript received March 9, 2013; published online May 17, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Alexander L. Brown.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 5(2), 021009 (May 17, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: TSEA-12-1200; doi: 10.1115/1.4024015 History: Received November 08, 2012; Revised March 09, 2013

The fire industry relies on fire engineers and scientists to develop materials and technologies used to either resist, detect, or suppress fire. While combustion processes are the drivers for what might be considered to be fire phenomena, it is heat transfer physics that mediate how fire spreads. Much of the knowledge of fire phenomena has been encapsulated and exercised in fire modeling software tools. Over the past 30 years, participants in the fire industry have begun to use fire modeling tools to aid in decision making associated with design and analysis. In the rest of this paper we will discuss what the drivers have been for the growth of fire modeling tools; the types of submodels incorporated into such tools; the role of model verification, validation, and uncertainty propagation in these tools; and possible futures for these types of tools to best meet the requirements of the user community. Throughout this discussion, we identify how heat transfer research has supported and aided the advancement of fire modeling.

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