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Smoke Transport and FDS Validation

Gottuk, D.T., Mealy, C. and Floyd, J., 2008. Smoke Transport and FDS Validation. Fire Safety Science 9: 129-140. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.9-129


A 2006 Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) project used the NIST Fire Dynamics Simulator to investigate smoke detector spacing for spaces with deep beam pockets and level ceilings. One configuration evaluated in this research was a corridor configuration with varying beam depth, beam spacing, corridor width, and ceiling height. A subset of the modeled corridor configurations was conducted with full-scale experiments to validate the findings of the modeling study. This paper presents the findings of the experimental validation and new discoveries regarding smoke production and loss mechanisms that have an impact on modeling of fires and the spread of smoke. The temperature and velocity measurements along the corridor ceiling were consistent with the modeling results. However, the study showed that FDS significantly over-predicted smoke concentrations compared to the experiments. Exploratory findings indicate that soot deposits to the ceiling above the plume may be as high as 37 percent of the soot produced. Current versions of FDS do not account for this substantial soot loss. The work also revealed that there is a large discrepancy between reported small-scale soot yields and larger scale fires.

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