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Fire Dynamics


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Table of Contents

Preface xvNew to This Edition xviiAcknowledgments xixAbout the Authors xxiiiChapter 1 Introduction 11.1 Introduction to Fire 11.2 Changes That Affect Fire Dangers 41.3 Fire Dynamics: The Link to Collaborative Fire Protection 71.3.1 Fire Suppression Personnel 81.3.2 Fire Protection Engineering and Code Enforcement Personnel 81.3.3 Fire and Explosion Investigator Personnel 91.4 Outline of the Text 9Summary 12Case Studies 12Review Questions 13Reference 14Chapter 2 Fire Basics 152.1 Definition of Fire 162.2 The Fire Triangle and Fire Tetrahedron 162.3 Classification of Fuels in Fire 182.3.1 Class A 182.3.2 Class B 182.3.3 Class C 182.3.4 Class D 182.3.5 Class K 192.4 Fire Hazards Related to the U.S. Department of Transportation Hazard Classification System 192.4.1 Class 1-Explosives 202.4.2 Class 2-Compressed Gas 202.4.3 Class 3-Flammable and Combustible Liquids 202.4.4 Class 4-Flammable Solids 202.4.5 Class 5-Oxidizing Agents 202.4.6 Class 6-Poisons 212.4.7 Class 7-Radioactive Materials 212.4.8 Class 8-Corrosives 212.4.9 Class 9-Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials 212.5 Flames 212.6 Fire Plume 242.7 Flame Spread 252.8 Heat and Temperature 262.9 Energy, Work, and Thermodynamics 272.10 Heat of Combustion 292.11 Combustion Efficiency 30Summary 31Review Questions 31References 32Chapter 3 Math Review for Basic Fire Science Applications 333.1 Algebra 343.1.1 Algebraic Expressions 343.1.2 Order of Operations 353.1.3 Rate 363.1.4 Flux 373.1.5 Significant Integers 373.1.6 Coordinate System 373.2 Units of Measure 383.2.1 Length 383.2.2 Area 403.2.3 Volume 423.2.4 Temperature 433.2.5 Energy 453.2.6 Mass 453.2.7 Pressure 453.2.8 Time 453.3 Conversion Between Units 453.4 Scaling Images 47Summary 48Review Questions 48References 49Chapter 4 Fires from Gas Phase Fuels 504.1 Matter 514.1.1 Vapor Density 524.2 General Physical Properties of the Gaseous State 544.2.1 Boyle's Law 544.2.2 Charles's Law 544.2.3 Combined Gas Law 554.3 Pressure and Its Measurement 574.4 General Chemistry Concepts 584.4.1 Chemical Reactions and Equations 594.4.2 Polymers 634.4.3 Balancing Chemical Equations 644.5 Oxidation Reactions 654.5.1 Combustion of Methane 664.6 Smoke 674.6.1 Toxicity of Smoke 674.6.2 Visibility Effects of Smoke 694.7 Gaseous Combustion 714.8 Dependence of Flammability Limits on Temperature, Pressure, and Oxygen Concentration 734.9 Ignition Energy 744.10 Flame Propagation 744.11 Warning About Flammable Gases 75Summary 76Review Questions 76References 78Chapter 5 Fires from Liquid Phase Fuels 795.1 Liquid Matter 795.2 General Physical Properties of the Liquid State 805.2.1 Specific Gravity 815.2.2 Miscibility and Solubility 825.2.3 Vapor Pressure 825.3 Altering Phase Change Temperatures 835.3.1 Solutions and Compounds 835.3.2 Pressure Change 845.3.3 Specific Heat 845.4 Change in States of Matter 855.4.1 Volume Expansion 895.4.2 Expansion of Matter (Solids and Liquids) 895.5 Liquid Ignitability 915.5.1 Flash Point and Fire Point 915.5.2 Classification of Ignitable Liquids 925.5.3 Ignition Concepts 945.6 Combustible Liquids 945.6.1 Mixtures 945.6.2 Aerosols 945.6.3 Thin Film 955.6.4 Wicking 955.7 Pool Fires 955.7.1 Burning Duration 965.7.2 Application of Knowledge 975.7.3 Frothing, Slopover, and Boilover 97Summary 98Review Questions 98References 99Chapter 6 Fires from Solid Phase Fuels 1006.1 Solid Matter 1006.2 Pyrolysis 1026.3 CHAR 1036.4 Smoldering Combustion 1036.5 Melting 1036.6 Dehydration 1046.7 Characteristics of Cellulosic Fuels 1046.8 Characteristics of Upholstered Furniture 1066.9 Characteristics of Polymer Fuels 1066.10 Characteristics of Combustible Metals 1076.11 Flame Spread 1096.12 Variables Affecting Solid Combustion 1096.12.1 Surface Area-to-Mass Relationship 1096.12.2 Orientation 1106.12.3 Thermal Inertia 1116.13 Fire Retardants 1126.13.1 Potential Toxicity of Fire Retardants 113Summary 114Review Questions 114References 115Chapter 7 Heat Release Rate 1177.1 Importance of Heat Release Rate 1177.2 General Introduction 1187.3 Methods for Determining Heat Release Rate 1197.3.1 Heat of Combustion 1207.3.2 Combustion Efficiency 1217.3.3 Mass Burning Flux (Mass Flux) 1227.3.4 Area 1247.4 Heat Release Rate Curves 1257.5 Heat Release Rate of Some Objects 1287.6 Methods of Applying Heat Release Rate Curves 1307.6.1 Simplified Shapes for Fire Growth Curves 1307.6.2 t2 Fire Growth Curves 1317.6.3 Combining Multiple Fuel Packages into a Single Fire Growth Curve 1347.7 Some Practical Applications 1377.7.1 Pool Fires 1377.7.2 Solid Fuels: Upholstered Furniture 1407.8 Flame Height 1407.8.1 Method of Thomas 1407.8.2 Method of Heskestad 1417.9 Relationship of Heat Release Rate and the Plume 1427.10 Measuring Heat Release Rate and Its Effects 1427.10.1 Measurement of Heat Release Rate Using Oxygen Consumption Calorimetry 1437.11 Basic Fire Testing Instrumentation 1467.11.1 Thermocouple 1477.11.2 Heat Flux Gauge 1487.11.3 Bi-Directional Probe (BDP) 148Summary 149Review Questions 149References 150Chapter 8 Ignition 1518.1 Fire Triangle/Fire Tetrahedron Revisited 1528.2 Fire Ignition Statistics 1528.3 Ignition Energy 1538.3.1 Minimum Ignition Energy 1538.3.2 Piloted Ignition 1538.3.3 Autoignition (Autogenous Ignition) 1548.3.4 Differences and Similarities between Ignition Concepts 1558.4 Energy of the Ignition Source 1558.5 Heat Transfer 1578.6 Historical Background on Heat 1578.7 Conduction 1588.8 Convection 1628.9 Radiation 1658.9.1 Empirical Approach to Heat Flux 1668.9.2 Point Source Model for Heat Flux 1678.9.3 View Factor Model for Heat Flux 1688.9.4 Emissive Power 1698.10 Relationship to the Flame 1728.11 Material Properties 1738.11.1 Surface Area-to-Mass Ratio 1748.11.2 Geometry 1758.11.3 Density 1758.11.4 Orientation 1768.12 Time to Ignition Calculations for Solid Fuels 1788.12.1 Ignition of Thermally Thin Solids 1788.12.2 Ignition of Thermally Thick Solids 1808.13 Spontaneous Ignition 1818.14 Ignitability and Flammability Testing 183Summary 184Review Questions 184References 185Chapter 9 Enclosure Fire Dynamic Basics 1869.1 Introduction 1869.2 Ignition 1879.3 Growth 1889.3.1 Plume Formation 1899.3.2 Ceiling Jet 1899.3.3 Upper Layer Development 1909.3.4 Sprinkler and Heat Detector Activation 1949.3.5 Ventilation Openings 1949.4 Progression of a Fuel-Controlled Enclosure Fire 1979.4.1 Curve Number 1 1979.4.2 Curve Number 2 1979.4.3 Components That Control Flashover 2019.4.4 Indicators of Flashover 2019.4.5 Flashover Calculations 2029.4.6 Curve Number 3 2059.5 Progression of a Ventilation-Controlled Enclosure Fire 2059.5.1 Curve Number 4 2069.5.2 Curve Number 5 2069.6 Impact of Changing Ventilation Conditions 2099.6.1 Curve Number 6 2099.7 Misconceptions Regarding Backdraft 2139.7.1 Misconception: "Backdraft Is Fueled by Carbon Monoxide" 2139.8 Full-Room Involvement 2149.9 Combustion Products for Occupant Safety 2149.9.1 Fire Environment Exposure (Toxicity) 2159.9.2 Smoke, Irritants, and Visibility 2159.9.3 Asphyxiant Gases 2159.10 Calculations 2179.11 Decay 2179.12 Effects of Smoke in Compartments 2179.12.1 Stack Effect (Buoyancy Effects on Smoke Movement) 2179.12.2 Smoke Control Methods 2179.11.3 Amount of Smoke Produced by a Fire 2189.11.4 Smoke Fill Rate in a Compartment 2199.13 Reaching the LFL within a Compartment 220Summary 221Case Study 221Review Questions 221References 223Chapter 10 Extinguishment 22510.1 Extinguishment of Fire 22510.2 Removal of Fuel 22610.2.1 Turn Off Fuel Supply 22610.2.2 Separation of Fuel 22610.2.3 Fire Consumes Fuel 22710.3 Removal of Heat 22710.3.1 Air Movement 22710.3.2 Water 22810.3.3 Volume Expansion 23210.3.4 Fog Fire Streams 23210.4 Water Volume Calculations 23210.5 Fire Suppression Calculations 23310.6 Sprinkler Systems 23410.7 Water Summary 23610.8 Foam Extinguishing Agents 23610.8.1 Environmental Concern for Foam Use 23710.9 Removal of Oxygen 23810.10 Oxygen Displacement 23910.11 Cooling Effect of Inert Gas 24010.12 Class D Fires 24010.13 Interrupting a Chemical Chain Reaction 240Summary 241Review Questions 241References 242Chapter 11 Explosions 24311.1 Introduction to Explosions 24311.2 Gas Explosions 24611.2.1 Common Fuel Gases 24711.3 Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions (BLEVE) 24811.4 Unconfined Vapor Cloud Explosion (UVCE) 24911.5 Fire and Explosion Dangers in Concentrated Dust Environments 24911.6 Blast Effects and Overpressure Effects 25011.6.1 Blast Damage to Buildings 25011.6.2 Blast Injuries 25111.7 TNT Equivalency 25211.7.1 Relationship of TNT Equivalence to Overpressure 25311.7.2 Relationship of Overpressure to Damage 255Review Questions 256References 256Chapter 12 Introduction to Fire Modeling 25812.1 History and Basics of Fire Testing and Modeling 25812.2 Computer Fire Modeling Applications 26012.2.1 Fire Protection Engineering 26012.2.2 Fire Investigation 26112.3 Types of Models 26312.3.1 Hand Calculations 26312.3.2 Spreadsheet Models 26412.3.3 Zone Models 26512.3.4 Computational Fluid Dynamics Models (Field Models) 27112.4 Input Data Needed for Computer Fire Modeling 27212.5 Testing of an Origin Hypothesis with Computer Fire Models 27312.6 Modeling Fire Suppression Activities 27712.7 Verification and Validation of Computer Models 277Summary 278Review Questions 278References 279Appendix A Digital Resources 280Appendix B 281Appendix C Reference Tables 282Glossary 297Index 301

About the Author

Greg Gorbett is an Associate Professor in the Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology Program at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. He currently serves as a director for the National Association of Fire Investigators, as a co-chair for the Fire and Arson Investigator journal of the International Association of Arson Investigators, and as the executive secretary of the Crime Scene/Death Investigation Scientific Area Committee's (SAC's) Fire and Explosion Investigation Subcommittee within the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). For the past fourteen years, he has worked as a fire and explosion expert with John A. Kennedy and Associates, Madison County Fire Investigation Task Force, and runs his own consulting firm. Professor Gorbett holds two BS degrees, one in Fire Science, and the other in Forensic Science. He also holds two MS degrees, one in Executive Fire Service Leadership, and the other in Fire Protection Engineering. He also holds a PhD in Fire Protection Engineering. Additionally, he is a certified fire and explosion investigator (CFEI), a certified fire investigator (IAAI-CFI), a certified fire protection specialist (CFPS), a certified vehicle fire investigator (CVFI), and a certified fire investigation instructor (CFII).

James L. Pharr is currently assistant professor in fire and safety engineering technology at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). Professor Pharr specializes in fire dynamics, building and life safety, supervision, emergency scene operations, and hazardous materials response. Pharr received an AS in fire science technology from Rowan Technical Institute and a BS in fire and safety engineering technology from the School of Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati. Pharr holds an MS in executive fire service leadership from Grand Canyon University. Professor Pharr has also completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he is an adjunct instructor. Prior to joining EKU, Pharr was the emergency management director and fire marshal in Gaston County, North Carolina. Pharr is a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Pharr has published a number of journal articles and research papers.

Scott R. Rockwell is an assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky University, where he teaches classes on fire behavior and combustion and fire dynamics along with conducting research and supervising graduate student thesis projects. He has earned a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering along with a MS and PhD in Fire Protection Engineering. Additionally, he is a certified fire and explosion investigator (CFEI) and a certified fire investigation instructor (CFII) through the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). His current research includes active learning teaching techniques that minimize the student's cognitive load, use of digital media in fire science education, alternative flame extinguishing techniques, radiation from dust flash fires, and investigations into the scaling of fire whirls. Among others, he has served on the Society of Fire Protection Engineering (SFPE) Educational Committee and the Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) Education Subcommittee. He also operates a website to provide freely available fire science educational material called

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