Numerical Experiments and Compartment Fires

Report Date: September 2014

Compartment fire dynamics are very complex with seemingly random behavior. To better understand and predict fire dynamics and smoke spread, there is much to be learned from the results of fire research. Often, we get these results through partial or full-scale live-fire experiments. While they provide the most realistic results, the major drawbacks of the live-fire experiments are that they are expensive and resource demanding, thus limiting how often the experiments can be carried out and repeated. Numerical experiments using computational fire models can be used as a less expensive and more controlled way to perform fire research. However, numerical experiments are still not considered sufficient for used as the only source of results. They are currently used successfully as a supplement to live-fire experiments and for fire recreations. This paper reviews the use of numerical or computational methods as an alternative or complement to live-fire testing for compartment fire experiments.


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  • Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety, Lund University

    The Department of Fire Safety Engineering is responsible for education and research in Fire Safety Engineering and Risk Management. The scope of what we do is to a large extent interdisciplinary, and we are responsible for essential parts of the Fire Protection Engineering program on bachelor level, the Risk Management and Safety Engineering program, and the Fire Safety Engineering program on masters level. In addition, we are responsible for the education of PhD students in the field of fire safety engineering. Co-operation with other universities and colleges are carried out regarding both education and research.

Johansson, Nils. Numerical Experiments and Compartment Fires. Fire Science Reviews 2014, 3:2. 2014. 

Copyright © 2014 Johansson; Licensee Springer 

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( 

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