Medium-scale pool fire research

The medium-scale pool fire research program has involved both experimental and numerical investigations into liquid fire behaviour. On the experimental side, flow visualization, two component LDA and thermocouples have been used to simultaneously measure temperatures and velocities in two orthogonal directions at over 125 stations in 0.3 m diameter (medium-scale) acetone (radiative) and methanol (non-radiating) pool fires. Turbulence quantities and estimates of mean vorticity have been derived from the data.

Future research includes investigations of fire radiation and soot (particulate) formation, potentially using new diagnostics for soot characterization, as well as radiation and species concentration measurements. Interpretation of the results has led to increased understanding of the detailed physical structure and mechanisms of air entrainment at the base of the fire.

To complement the experimental program, LES and RANS based computational models of the pool fire are being developed. These codes are configured to solve the unsteady, three-dimensional conservation equations over a non-orthogonal solution domain. Provision will be included for choice of fuel, different boundary conditions, the form of the turbulence model and variations in the combustion and radiation sub-models. Results will be verified against available experimental data.

Complementary research in the behaviour of large-scale liquid fuel spill fires typical of those encountered in transportation accidents or industrial spills is underway. This combined experimental and numerical approach to the study of fire behaviour at multiple scales should, over the longer term, facilitate development of fire scaling laws and prediction of fire behaviour under a variety of ambient and boundary conditions.


Pool fires