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Journal Articles Fire Safety Journal Year : 2017

Modeling of fire suppression by fuel cooling


Fire suppression with water spray was investigated, focusing on cases where fuel cooling is the dominant suppression mechanism, with the aim to add a specific suppression model addressing this mechanism in Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), which already involves a suppression model addressing effects related to flame cooling. A series of experiments was selected, involving round pools of either 25 or 35 cm diameter and using both diesel and fuel oil, in a well-ventilated room. The fire suppression system is designed with four nozzles delivering a total flow rate of 25 l/min and injecting droplets with mean Sauter diameter 112 μm. Among the 74 tests conducted in various conditions, 12 cases with early spray activation were especially considered, as suppression was observed to require a longer time to cool the fuel surface below the ignition temperature. This was quantified with fuel surface temperature measurements and flame video recordings in particular. A model was introduced simulating the reduction of the pyrolysis rate during the water spray application, in relation to the decrease of the fuel local temperature. The numerical implementation uses the free-burn step of the fire to identify the relationship between pyrolysis rate and fuel surface temperature, assuming that the same relationship is kept during the fire suppression step. As expected, numerical simulations reproduced a sharp HRR decrease following the spray activation in all tests and the suppression was predicted in all cases where it was observed experimentally. One specific case involving a water flow rate reduced such that it is too weak to allow complete suppression was successfully simulated. Indeed, the simulation showed a reduced HRR but a fire not yet suppressed. However, most of the tests showed an under-estimated duration before fire suppression (discrepancy up to 26 s for a spray activation lasting 73 s), which demonstrates the need for model improvement. In particular the simulation of the surface temperature should require a dedicated attention. Finally, when spray activation occurred in hotter environments, probably requiring a combination of fuel cooling and flame cooling effects, fire suppression was predicted but with an over-estimated duration. These results show the need for further modeling efforts to combine in a satisfactory manner the flame cooling model of FDS and the present suggested model for fuel cooling.
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Dates and versions

hal-01578083 , version 1 (28-08-2017)



Alexandre Jenft, Pascal Boulet, Anthony Collin, Nicolas Trevisan, Pierre-Nicolas Mauger, et al.. Modeling of fire suppression by fuel cooling. Fire Safety Journal, 2017, 91, pp.680-687. ⟨10.1016/j.firesaf.2017.03.067⟩. ⟨hal-01578083⟩
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