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Experimental and Numerical Study of Methane-air Deflagrations in a Vented Enclosure

Bauwens, C.R., Chaffee, J.L. and Dorofeev, S., 2008. Experimental and Numerical Study of Methane-air Deflagrations in a Vented Enclosure. Fire Safety Science 9: 1043-1054. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.9-1043


Results of a series of tests on the deflagration of methane-air mixtures in a large vented enclosure are presented. Experiments were made in FM Global’s 63.7 m3 chamber. The chamber was 4.6 x 4.6 x 3.0 m with a vent opening on one side. Vent areas of either 2.7 or 5.4 m2 were used. Tests were performed with ignition either at the center of the chamber or at the center of the wall opposite the vent. Methane-air mixtures with methane concentrations close to 9.5% vol. were used in the tests. Pressure data, as function of time, and flame time-of-arrival data were obtained both inside and outside the chamber near the vent. Detailed experimental data is used in the paper to test a three-dimensional gasdynamic model for the simulation of gaseous combustion in vented enclosures. The model is based on a Large Eddy Simulation (LES) solver created using the OpenFOAM CFD toolbox using sub-grid turbulence and flame wrinkling models. Results from the calculations are compared with the experimental data. The capabilities and deficiencies of the model are discussed.

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