A convective model for laboratory fires with well-ordered vertically-oriented fuel beds
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Francois-Joseph Chatelon; Jacques H. Balbi; Dominique Morvan; Jean-Louis Rossi; Thierry Marcelli
Publication Year: 2017

Cataloging Information

  • convection
  • fire dynamics
  • fire spread
  • heat transfer
  • model performance
  • radiative effects
  • rate of spread
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: October 15, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 58756


Several studies in the literature explore the connection between rate of spread (ROS) and wind in wildland fires. These studies show very different positions about the role of radiation and convection as heat transfer mechanisms. In the case when the fuel bed is well-ordered and vertically-oriented, there seems to be a consensus leading to suggest that convective heating is the dominant heat transfer mode in that case. The purpose of this work is to propose a convective semi-physical model for the behaviour of the rate of spread in wind, when the fuel bed is vertically-oriented. Due to a specific fuel bed arrangement, flame radiation –i.e. radiation from the part of the flame above the vegetal stratum– is neglected. Only horizontal radiation from the fuel burning particles area and convective heating are taken into account. Convective heat transfer is assumed to be the primary heat transfer mechanism. The proposed model is confronted to 172 laboratory fires with a wide range of fuel characteristics. The predicted results are also compared with two simplified models from the literature. Statistical tools are used to check the agreement between the predicted ROS and the observed one where a strong agreement is generally observed, irrespective of fuel bed characteristics.

Online Link(s):
Chatelon, Francois Joseph; Balbi, Jacques Henri; Morvan, Dominique; Rossi, Jean Louis; Marcelli, Thierry. 2017. A convective model for laboratory fires with well-ordered vertically-oriented fuel beds. Fire Safety Journal 90:54-61.