The full scale fire research program applies basic scientific principles of fire science to develop new understanding of the behaviour of structural and transportation fires, to study fire initiation and spread, methods for fire detection and suppression, and many related issues. Results influence the fire service and fire engineering communities through improved understanding of the impact that new suppression agents and methods, wind, ventilation, construction materials, building layout and structural design have on fire growth and spread.

Large-scale fire research takes place at the University of Waterloo Live Fire Research Facility, in the large test enclosure which has the necessary space (3975 ft2 floor area and ~ 4 storeys high) and equipment to accommodate and instrument very large-scale fire experiments with or without the effects of wind. Located at one end of the test area are 6 fans (6.3 m x 7.8 m outlet area) which can generate winds up to 13 m/s across the experiment. The large test building has been used for studies of aviation fuel spill fires occurring close to a plane fuselage; however, we are very interested in extending this work into other areas related to transportation safety as well as into new research initiatives related to building and structural fires in support of performance based codes.

Download a short video clip (WMV) of a recent full-scale cross-wind fire test.

Publications

Large scale fire testing