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Application Of Building-scale Calorimetry

Newman, J.S. and Wieczorek, C.J., 2005. Application Of Building-scale Calorimetry. Fire Safety Science 8: 1425-1434. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.8-1425


The Large Burn Laboratory, located at the FM Global Research Campus, is the first facility in which calorimetry techniques have been become a standard means of evaluating both sprinklered and non-sprinklered fire tests. The geometry and dimensions of the new facility result in signal distortions which are not typically seen with smaller scale calorimeters. Correction techniques to the measured signals have been developed to account for both accumulation and dilution of the combustion products between the source and the measurement locations. The theory and calculations required to calculate the chemical heat release rates for building-scale fire tests are presented and discussed. The correction schemes are applied to two fire tests, a free-burn spray fire and a sprinklered “standard plastic” rack storage fire. The calculated chemical heat release rates are then compared to theoretical calculations and observed events.


calorimetry, chemical heat release rate, species dilution, time constant

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