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

Eleni Asimakopoulou, Dionysios Kolaitis, Maria Founti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In a compartment fire, Externally Venting Flames (EVF) may significantly increase the risk of fire spreading to adjacent floors or buildings, especially when combustible insulation materials are installed on the building façade. An increasing number of recent reports suggest that existing fire engineering design methodologies cannot describe with sufficient accuracy the characteristics of EVF under realistic fire load conditions. In this context, a series of fire safety engineering design correlations used to describe the main EVF thermal characteristics, namely EVF centreline temperature and EVF-induced heat flux on the exposed façade surface, are comparatively assessed. Towards this end, measurements obtained in a medium- and a large-scale compartment-façade fire test are employed; aiming to broaden the scope of the validation study, predictions of the investigated correlations are further compared to measurements obtained in 6 large-scale fire tests found in the literature. It is found that the correlation proposed in EN1991-1-2 (Eurocode 1) for the estimation of the EVF centreline temperature is under-predicting the measured values in large-scale fire tests. In addition, it is concluded that estimation of the local flame emissivity should take into account the specific fuel type used in each case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-460
Number of pages10
JournalFire Safety Journal
Volume91
Early online date18 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Compartment fires
  • Heat transfer
  • Externally venting flames
  • Façade fires
  • Eurocode

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