Survey on fire source modelling from the International FORUM of Fire Research Directors

 There is a lot of activity around the world in the area of fire source modelling [1], and as members of the IAFSS, you have been identified as one of the leading teams working on this topic.  In order to identify research needs and possibly initiate a collaborative effort in this area, the FORUM has decided to develop a review paper of the state-of-the-art in fire source modelling. Your response to the following survey will provide valuable input for this review. Please return completed surveys to Eric Guillaume ([email protected]) before September, 20th 2014.

 In this survey, a distinction is made between the following fire source modelling approaches:

 Category 1: The least complex approach relies on empirical models that predict the burning rate under specified thermal exposure conditions directly based on ignition, heat release rate and/or mass loss rate data measured in a calorimeter.

 Category 2: A slightly more complex approach involves simple analytical models. In this case the burning rate is calculated based on apparatus-independent material properties that are deduced from small-scale calorimeter data (e.g., heat of gasification). As with the previous approach, there is an ignition and a burning rate component.

 Category 3: The third approach is based on detailed pyrolysis models without chemical kinetics. These models obtain a numerical solution of the equations describing the heat transfer through the virgin material and its char (if present) and assume that pyrolysis occurs at a fixed material-dependent temperature. The heat-up to ignition is an integral part of the model calculations.

Category 4: The most complex approach is similar to the previous approach, except that pyrolysis is assumed to occur over a range of temperatures and the rate of pyrolysis is controlled by the kinetics of the thermal degradation reactions.

 If your organization uses different fire source modelling approaches, it would be helpful if you could complete a separate survey for each approach.

Please download the survey to complete and send in here.

[1] With “fire source models” we mean sub-models that are used to predict the generation rate of mass, heat, and species (i.e., the source terms) in fire growth models such as CFAST and FDS.  The focus of the survey is on models that predict the pyrolysis rate of solids.