Reference : Influence of obstacles on the development of gravity current prior to backdraft
Scientific journals : Article
Engineering, computing & technology : Materials science & engineering
Influence of obstacles on the development of gravity current prior to backdraft
Pérez-Jiménez, Christian [> >]
Guigay, Georges Jan [> >]
Horvat, Andrej [> >]
Sinai, Yehuda [> >]
Franssen, Jean-Marc mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département Argenco : Secteur SE > Ingénierie du feu >]
Fire Technology
Springer Science & Business Media B.V.
Yes (verified by ORBi)
The Netherlands
[en] gravity current ; 3-D simulation ; obstacles ; backdraft ; ignition time
[en] The phenomenon of backdraft is closely linked to the formation of a flammable
region due to the mixing process between the unburned gases accumulated in
the compartment and the fresh air entering the compartment through a recently created opening. The flow of incoming fresh air is called the gravity current. Gravity current prior to backdraft has already been studied, Fleischmann (1993, Backdraft
phenomena, NIST-GCR-94-646. University of California, Berkeley) and Fleischmann
(1999, Numerical and experimental gravity currents related to backdrafts, Fire Safety Journal); Weng et al. (2002, Exp Fluids 33:398–404), but all simulations and experiments found in the current literature are systematically based on a perfectly regular volume, usually parallelipedic in shape, without any piece of furniture or equipment in the compartment. Yet, various obstacles are normally found in real compartments and the question is whether they affect the gravity current velocity and the level of mixing between fresh and vitiated gases. In the work reported here, gravity current prior to backdraft in compartment with obstacles is investigated by means of three-dimensional CFD numerical simulations. These simulations use as a reference case the backdraft experiment test carried out by Gojkovic (2000, Initial Backdraft. Department of Fire Safety Engineering, Lunds Tekniska Ho¨ gskola Universitet, Report 3121). The Froude number, the transit time and the ignition time are obtained from the computations and compared to the tests in order to validate the model.
(C) 2008 Springer Sciences + Business Media, LLC. The original publication is available at

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