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Cable Response to Live Fire (CAROLFIRE) Volume 3: Thermally-Induced Electrical Failure (THIEF) Model.



Kevin B. McGrattan, J Dreisbach


This report describes a thermally-induced electrical failure (THIEF) model's ability to predict the behavior of power, instrument, and control cables during a fire. The model is intended to be incorporated as a subroutine for deterministic fire models, and it is of comparable accuracy and simplicity to the activation algorithms for various other fire protection devices (e.g., sprinklers, heat and smoke detectors). THIEF model predictions are compared to experimental measurements of instrumented cables in a variety of configurations, and the results indicate that the model is an appropriate analysis tool for nuclear power plant applications. This work was performed as part of the CAROLFIRE (Cable Response to Live Fire) program sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The experiments for CAROLFIRE were conducted at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Details of the CAROLFIRE experimental program are contained in Volumes 1 and 2 of this three-volume series.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7472
Report Number


cables, electric cables, electrical cables, fire tests, failure modes, algorithms, heat flux, experiments, thermosets, thermoplastics, cable trays, fire models, combustion


McGrattan, K. and Dreisbach, J. (2008), Cable Response to Live Fire (CAROLFIRE) Volume 3: Thermally-Induced Electrical Failure (THIEF) Model., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created April 1, 2008, Updated November 10, 2018