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Modélisation du terme source d'incendie : montée en échelle à partir d'essais de comportement au feu vers l'échelle réelle : approche "modèle", "numérique" et "expérimentale"

Abstract : Numerical simulations can provide valuable information to fire investigators, but only if the fire source is precisely defined. This can be done through full- or small-scale testing. The latter is often preferred because these tests are easier to perform, but their results have to be extrapolated in order to represent full-scale fire behaviour. Various approaches have been proposed to perform this upscaling. An example is pyrolysis models, which involve a detailed description of condensed phase reactions. However, these models are not ready yet for investigation applications. This is why another approach was chosen for the work presented here, employing a heat transfer model: the prediction of mass loss rate for a material is determined based on a heat balance. This principle explains the two-part structure of this study: first, a detailed characterisation of heat transfers is performed; then, the influence of these heat transfers on thermal decomposition is studied. The first part focuses on thermal radiation because it is the leading mechanism of flame spread. Flame radiation was characterised for several fuels (kerosene, diesel, heptane, polyurethane foam and wood) and many fire sizes (from 0.3 m up to 3.5 m wide). Measurements included visible video recordings, multispectral opacimetry and infrared spectrometry, which allowed the determination of a simplified flame shape as well as its emissive power. These data were then used in a model (Monte-Carlo method) to predict incident heat fluxes at various locations. These values were compared to the measurements and showed a good agreement, thus proving that the main phenomena governing flame radiation were captured and reproduced, for all fire sizes. Because the final objective of this work is to provide a comprehensive fire simulation tool, a software already available, namely Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), was evaluated regarding its ability to model radiative heat transfers. This was done using the data and knowledge gathered before, and showed that the code could predict incident heat fluxes reasonably well. It was thus chosen to use FDS and its radiation model for the rest of this work. The second part aims at correlating thermal decomposition to thermal radiation. This was done by performing cone calorimeter tests on polyurethane foam and using the results to build a model which allows the prediction of MLR as a function of time and incident heat flux. Larger tests were also performed to study flame spread on top and inside foam samples, through various measurements: videos processing, temperatures analysis, photogrammetry. The results suggest that using small-scale data to predict full-scale fire behaviour is a reasonable approach for the scenarios being investigated. It was thus put into practice using FDS, by modifying the source code to allow for the use of a thermal model, in other words defining the fire source based on the model predicting MLR as a function of time and incident heat flux. The results of the first simulations are promising, and predictions for more complex geometries will be evaluated to validate this method.
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Giacomo Erez. Modélisation du terme source d'incendie : montée en échelle à partir d'essais de comportement au feu vers l'échelle réelle : approche "modèle", "numérique" et "expérimentale". Thermique [physics.class-ph]. Université de Lorraine, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019LORR0189⟩. ⟨tel-02499461⟩

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