Warehouse commodity classification from fundamental principles. Part II: Flame heights and flame spread

Publication year: 2011
Source: Fire Safety Journal, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 12 June 2011

K.J., Overholt , M.J., Gollner , J., Perricone , A.S., Rangwala , F.A., Williams

In warehouse storage applications, it is important to classify the burning behavior of commodities and rank them according to their material flammability for early fire detection and suppression operations. In this study, a preliminary approach towards commodity classification is presented that models the early stage of large-scale warehouse fires by decoupling the problem into separate processes of heat and mass transfer. Two existing nondimensional parameters are used to represent the physical phenomena at the large-scale: a mass transfer number that directly incorporates the material properties of a fuel, and the soot yield of the fuel that controls the radiation observed…

 Highlights: ► A framework is presented to rank commodities by their material flammability. ► Corrugated cardboard and polystyrene were considered as fuels in warehouse fires. ► A nondimensional mass transfer number was used to predict large-scale flame heights. ► The B-number was experimentally obtained from bench-scale tests. ► The bench-scale measurements were used to predict flame heights in warehouse fires.