Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been widely used to evaluate the effects of fire on people and buildings by predicting temperature, radiation heat flux, smoke visibility and combustion products. In this paper, CFD was used to study plume temperature, radiation heat flux, visibility and carbon monoxide concentration in a building fire. The CFD software Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology of USA is generally adopted to model the various fire scenarios in buildings.
For FDS modeling, the type of fuel is considered an important input parameter which has a significant effect on the simulation results of different types of combustibles, hence the fire hazard evaluation. In the combustion model of FDS, the fuel and oxygen are burnt to give fire products such as carbon dioxide, water, carbon monoxide and soot. Fuels including propane, wood, polyurethane and polyvinyl-chloride were used in the simulation. By using the same fire size and fuel bed for different combustibles under study, a peak fire size of 3 MW was adopted. Simulations were then carried out with different fuel and respective reaction parameters of these combustibles. Simulation results, the output quantities of plume temperature, visibility, carbon monoxide concentration and radiation heat flux for different scenarios obtained were analyzed and evaluated.
It was observed that there were reasonable differences in the results from the fuel packages of different combustibles. These differences were evaluated and their significance was discussed.