Better fire prevention in the future

(30-11-2021) Junyi Li investigated fire dynamics in airtight buildings in his PhD, focusing on the substantial pressure variations caused by fire, which are generally less considered a concern in fire research.

“I carried out experimental and numerical studies in reduced-scale and full-scale facilities, and a theoretical analysis based on energy balance was performed”, Junyi Li explains.

A systematic experimental campaign of reduced-scale experiments allowed for a comprehensive examination of the factors influencing fire behavior in an airtight compartment. Full-scale experiments with methanol pool fires provided quantitative information on the fire-induced pressure variation in a larger size air-tight double room compartment.

The experimentally observed pressure variations were interpreted by elaborating the energy balance equation. In terms of numerical study, the fire dynamics and pressure variations were studied by means of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations, using FDS (Fire Dynamics Simulator). This included model validation, as well as extensions of the analyses from the experimental campaign. A preliminary scaling analysis was also presented.

The present study is expected to: 1) give more insight into the fire dynamics, especially fire-induced pressure variations, in air-tight compartments; 2) provide an assessment of numerical modeling of the fire-induced pressure with FDS and to provide extended analyses using FDS; 3) raise attention in considering the potential risk associated with fire-induced pressure during fire safety design. Besides, the experimental results presented in this thesis serve to provide data for further model validations.

“Advanced fire prevention methods can be further explored based on the outcomes”, Junyi Li concludes.

The full PhD is not yet available because it is embargoed until October 1, 2023.

PhD Title: Experimental and Numerical Study of Fire Dynamics in Air-Tight Buildings


Contact: Junyi Li, Tarek Beji, Bart Merci

Junyi Li


Editor: Jeroen Ongenae - Illustrator: Roger Van Hecke