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Experimentally Simulating Continuous Wind Driven Firebrand Showers in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires: Overview of the NIST Firebrand Generator (NIST Dragon) Technology

Published

Author(s)

Samuel L. Manzello, Sayaka S. Suzuki

Abstract

An experimental apparatus, known as the NIST full scale continuous feed Firebrand Generator (the NIST continuous feed Dragon) is presented. The experiment device presented in this paper is a scaled up version of the recently developed bench scale continuous feed Firebrand Generator (Baby Dragon). An experimental series was conducted at the Building Research Institute’s Fire Research Wind Tunnel Facility (FRWTF) to determine the range of operating conditions for this device. Wood pieces were fed into the device using a pneumatic piston system, ignited using propane burners, and a blower was used to loft the generated firebrands into the wind tunnel flow field. The number flux and mass flux were measured as a function of feeding rate, under fixed wind tunnel speed, during conditions necessary to generate steady firebrand showers. The firebrand size and mass produced using this experimental apparatus presented in this paper are commensurate to those measured from full-scale tree burns, an actual WUI fire, and firebrand collection from burning structures. When installed inside BRI’s FRWTF, the full scale continuous feed Dragon is the first and only experimental apparatus capable of generating, continuous wind driven, controlled firebrand showers that may be directed onto full scale building elements.
Proceedings Title
9th Asia Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology
Volume
62
Conference Dates
October 17-20, 2012
Conference Location
Hefei

Keywords

WUI Fires, Firebrands, Ignition

Citation

Manzello, S. and Suzuki, S. (2013), Experimentally Simulating Continuous Wind Driven Firebrand Showers in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires: Overview of the NIST Firebrand Generator (NIST Dragon) Technology, 9th Asia Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology, Hefei, -1, [online], https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2013.08.047 (Accessed March 2, 2024)
Created September 27, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018