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Fire Dynamics Simulator (Version 3): Users Guide (NISTIR 6748)



Kevin B. McGrattan, Glenn P. Forney, J E. Floyd, Simo A. Hostikka, Kuldeep R. Prasad


Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of fire-driven fluid flow. The software described in this document solves numerically a form of the Navier-Stokes equations appropriate for low-speed, thermally-driven flow with an emphasis on smoke and heat transport from fires. The formulation of the equations and the numerical algorithm are contained in a companion document, called Fire Dynamics Simulator (Version 3)--Technical Reference Guide. Smokeview is a visualization program that is used to display the results of an FDS simulation. The basics of Smokeview are described in this document. A more detailed description can be found in a companion document, called Users Guide for Smokeview Version 3.1 A Tool for Visualizing Fire Dynamics Simulation Data. Version 1 of FDS was publicly released in February 2000. Version 2 was publicly released in December 2001. To date, about half of the applications of the model have been for design of smoke handling systems and sprinkler/detector activation studies. The other half consist of residential and industrial fire reconstructions. Throughout its development, FDS has been aimed at solving practical fire problems in fire protection engineering, while at the same time providing a tool to study fundamental fire dynamics and combustion.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6748
Report Number


fire models, computational fluid dynamics, sprikler activation, fire plumes, flame spread, simulation, ignition


McGrattan, K. , Forney, G. , Floyd, J. , Hostikka, S. and Prasad, K. (2002), Fire Dynamics Simulator (Version 3): Users Guide (NISTIR 6748), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created November 1, 2002, Updated June 2, 2021