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Title: Assessment of fire hazard on glass buildings with an emphasis on double-skin façades
Author: Chow, Cheuk Lun
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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The consequences of a flashover fire in a room adjacent to a double-skin façade were studied on a fire model with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and physical experiments. The CFD package Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) was selected. CFD-FDS predictions on smoke filling and exhaust were justified by quality experimental data on smoke exhaust in a big hall fire, and field measurement from hot smoke tests in Hong Kong. FSD was applied to study how hot gas from a flashover fire in an adjacent room spread to the cavity of the double-skin façades. Detailed simulations were carried out to understand the fire-induced aerodynamics in the façade cavity of heights up to 15 m. Three possible fire hazards on having higher air temperatures adjacent to the interior glass pane then the exterior pane, vertical channel flow of hot smoke and upward flame, and fire sources jumping up, were identified from this study. To better understand the fire hazards of double-skin façades, full-scale burning tests on two specially designed rigs for studying the identified fire scenario were carried out in a remote area of Northeast China. The hazards in the façade cavity posed by relative air temperature differences between interior and exterior panes, and spreading up along the cavity were confirmed. The fire source jumping-up scenario associated with glass façade buildings was well demonstrated. Aprori design in a refuge floor is proposed to prevent fire spread along the interior façade panes. Further, hot gases would be diverted to act at the exterior pane. Breaking the exterior pane can ventilate flame and smoke out of the façade cavity. The proposal was supported firstly by CFD-FDS simulations and ten full-scale burning tests with gasoline pool fires.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available