Numerical investigation of pressure development in enclosures during fire

Jess Grotum Nielsen, Lars Schiøtt Sørensen, Bjarne Paulsen Husted

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    Previous studies have shown that the pressure development during fires in modern air tightened buildings can be critical. This high pressure can hinder the opening of doors and thereby block the evacuation route. Furthermore, an overpressure can give rise to increased smoke spread to adjacent fire compartments through the ventilation systems.
    The pressure development in an apartment building with a balanced ventilation system has been analysed utilizing the Fire Dynamic Simulator (FDS). The parameter study showed that both fire growth rate, heat release rate and the ventilation system as expected had an impact on the pressure build up in the enclosures. A faster fire growth rate leads to that the magnitude of the peak overpressure increased. However, a reduction in the leakage area of the building, together with a balanced ventilation system, revealed that the change in overpressure was small. The main reason is that the relief of overpressure happens through the ventilation system.
    The parameter study results also showed a risk of smoke spread with a running smoke ventilation system and 50 Pa overpressure. This is for a fire growth rate faster than the medium rate, according to NFPA 204M (0.012 kW/s2) and a leakage area according to the Danish BR 2015.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Event1st International Symposium Students FOr Resilient soCiEty - Novi Sad, Serbia
    Duration: 28 Sept 201829 Sept 2018
    Conference number: 1


    Conference1st International Symposium Students FOr Resilient soCiEty
    CityNovi Sad


    • FDS
    • Pressure development
    • Smoke spread
    • Modern air tightened buildings


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