Development of an upper layer in enclosure fires has a significant effect on the characteristics of the ceiling jet and a direct influence on the placement and performance of fire detection/suppression devices. Detailed transient measurement of ceiling jet velocity and temperature profiles within an upper layer for small-scale fires (2.0 kW and ceiling height of 1 m) are used to analyze the predictions produced by the LAVENT computer fire model. While the model predictions have been compared with large-scale experimental results with fires as large as 33 MW and ceiling height of up to 22m, the large-scale measurements do not have high special resolution and the present work offers a more thorough analysis of the model prediction. Various radiative losses (10–25%) were used to produce predictions that matched the experimental data. Comparison of the small-scale experimental data with the predictions from LAVENT shows that the model, which uses unconfined ceiling jet correlations, does not capture the ceiling jet profile well and over predicts the upper layer temperature during the development of the layer. The peak temperature prediction requires a different radiative loss factor than that which matches the upper layer temperature. In general, the peak temperature measurements are within 10% of the measured value. The velocity is generally over predicted since the retardation of the jet momentum by the upper layer does not seem to be modeled accurately.

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