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Experimental study of corner fires : part I : Inert panel tests

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Corner fires are known to spread more intensely in comparison with single wall fires. In view of the challenges associated with prediction of such fire behavior, the fire growth in a corner configuration of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) panels is investigated to provide a set of experimental data, performing Single Burning Item (SBI) tests. First, though, test results with inert calcium silicate panels are discussed for three values of HRR (10, 30 and 55 kW), allowing to address the main physics involved. The experimental data for 30 kW, the default SBI HRR, is used for detailed discussion of the observations. The SBI testing methodology, materials, and set-up are described. The results of total Heat Release Rates (HRR) and Smoke Production Rates (SPR), as well as the panel temperatures and total heat fluxes at several characteristic locations are analyzed. Moreover, the puffing frequency of the corner fire is characterized thanks to Video Fire Analysis (VFA) of the experimental footage. Additionally, flame heights are discussed, including the concept of mirroring. A new correlation for mean flame height is introduced, using the hypotenuse of the triangle as characteristic length for entrainment of air into the fire plume, and expressing that the flame height increases proportional to the square root of the fire heat release rate. The 30 kW propane burner of the standard SBI test is shown to feature a mean flame height of nearly 0.9 m and a puffing frequency of 2 U+202F±U+202F 0.3 Hz, and an average total heat flux exceeding 44 kW/m² near the burner early on in the test. The completeness of the dataset is expected to be useful for testing and development of CFD codes for corner fire scenarios.
Journal: Combustion and Flame
ISSN: 0010-2180
Volume: 189
Pages: 472 - 490
Publication year:2018
Keywords:Applied chemistry & chemical engineering, Physical chemistry, Energy & fuels, General & traditional engineering