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A Methodology for Predicting and Comparing the Full-scale Fire Performance of Similar Materials based on Small-scale Testing

Published

Author(s)

Isaac T. Leventon, Stanislav I. Stoliarov, James T. Lord

Abstract

Reconstructive fire testing is an important tool used by fire investigators to determine the cause, origin, and progression of a particular fire. Accurate reconstruction of the fire requires the laboratory structure to be outfitted with materials that, in terms of contribution to fire growth, perform similarly to the original materials found at the fire scene. Therefore, a procedure was developed to enable fire investigators to select these replacement materials on the basis of a quantitative assessment of their relative fire performance. This procedure consists of gram-scale and/or milligram-scale standard testing accompanied by inverse numerical modeling of these tests, which is used to obtain relevant material properties. A numerical model comprised of a detailed pyrolysis submodel and empirical flame heat feedback submodels, which were developed in this study, is subsequently employed to simulate early stages of the Room Corner Test, which was selected to represent full-scale material performance. The results of these simulations are demonstrated to be sufficiently accurate to successfully differentiate between fire growth propensities of several commercially available Medium Density Fiberboards.
Citation
Fire and Materials
Volume
42

Keywords

fire dynamics, forensic fire reconstruction, Room Corner Test, Medium Density Fiberboard, MDF, ThermaKin

Citation

Leventon, I. , Stoliarov, S. and Lord, J. (2018), A Methodology for Predicting and Comparing the Full-scale Fire Performance of Similar Materials based on Small-scale Testing, Fire and Materials, [online], https://doi.org/10.1002/fam.2524, https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=923547 (Accessed December 2, 2021)
Created April 29, 2018, Updated June 24, 2021