Experimental Study of Backdraft in a Compartment with Different Opening Geometries and its Mitigation with Water Mist

Report Date: January 2005

While backdrafts have been a known danger to firefighters for decades, there still is not a complete understanding of this fire phenomenon. For this project a reduced-scale compartment with eight selectable openings, six in the wall and two in the ceiling, was constructed to withstand the high pressures experienced during a backdraft. To quantify the backdrafts, temperature and gas concentrations were measured just before the event and gas velocities and compartment pressure were measured during the event. The study discusses the effects of different opening geometries and water mist on a backdraft. Major conclusions are that the mass fraction of unburned fuel is a key parameter in determining the occurrence of a backdraft and that water mist suppresses a backdraft by means of gas dilution rather than cooling.


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  • International Association for Fire Safety Science

    IAFSS was founded with the primary objective of encouraging research into the science of preventing and mitigating the adverse effects of fires and of providing a forum for presenting the results of such research.The International Association for Fire Safety Science perceives its role to lie in the scientific bases for achieving progress in unsolved fire problems. It will seek cooperation with other organizations, be they concerned with application or with the sciences that are fundamental to our interests in fire. It will seek to promote high standards, to encourage and stimulate scientists to address fire problems, to provide the necessary scientific foundations and means to facilitate applications aimed at reducing life and property loss. Since its inaugural meeting, the IAFSS has grown to more than four hundred members. Current members come from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States of America. The Association is legally established as a charitable organization in England and Wales.

  • State Key Laboratory of Fire Science

    The State Key Laboratory of Fire Science (SKLFS), located in China University of Science and Technology, which is in Hefei, Anhui Province, P. R. China. The State Key Laboratories (SKLs) is a list of university laboratories receiving funding and administrative support by the central government of the People's Republic of China. Nearly 300 SKLs have been set up since 1990s, and all the laboratories are managed by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST). SKLs are regarded as key components of China's science and technology research system. They serve as the base for top-level basic research and applied basic research development, assembling and nurturing outstanding researchers, as well as scholarly exchanges for the country. Generally each SKL specializes in one particular area of academic interest. SKLFS is the only national research institution in the field of fire science in China.

    SKLFS conducts frontier basic and interdisciplinary researches that combine state-of-the-art knowledge and approaches of chemistry, physics, mechanics, thermo-physics (heat transfer, combustion, etc.), information science, computer science, electronics, automation and material science to investigate fire dynamics and basic principles of fire safety technologies. The mission of SKLFS is to study fire dynamics & key technologies of fire safety, train qualified personnel and endeavor to cater for the growing national demand in fire science research and make fundamental, strategic and forward-looking contributions to the national fire safety. SKLFS pursues to keep itself at the very forefront of fire science discovery and engineering excellence. SKLFS achieves this mission through a strong linkage between basic research and applied research and engineering. SKLFS has also been designed to serve as a national knowledge resource, as well as provide a world renowned resource for training researchers in the field of fire science and fire safety engineering. SKLFS tries to strengthen Chinese scientific foundations for fundamental fire research and fire safety innovation.

    SKLFS has three major research directions: 1) Fire Dynamics; 2) Key technology of fire prevention; 3)Theory and methodology of fire safety engineering. In recent years, SKLFS has extended its directions to cover the fire safety relevant public safety topics such as emergency planning, emergency decision-making and human evacuation. In the coming ten years of 2012-2021, several important research topics of SKLFS will be 1) Fire safety of urban public service buildings and building complex; 2) Fire safety in navigation, spaceflight and plateau atmosphere; 3)