The Container Analysis Fire Environment (CAFE-3D) is a computer code developed at Sandia National Laboratories to simulate heat transfer from large fires to engulfed packages for transportation risk studies. These studies require accurate estimates of the total heat transfer to an object and the general characteristics of the object temperature distribution for a variety of fire environments. Since risk studies require multiple simulations, analysis tools must be rapid as well as accurate. In order to meet these needs, CAFE-3D links Isis-3D (a general purpose computational fluid dynamics/radiation heat transfer code that calculates fire behavior) to commercial finite element (FE) codes that calculates package response. In this scheme, CAFE-3D runs Isis-3D only periodically during the calculation to update local fire boundary conditions to the FE model. The frequency and duration of the fire update calculations are user controlled based on the fire time and/or package temperature rise. In this paper we outline various models employed by Isis-3D and the method for finding the soot volume fraction used to define the edge of the diffusively radiating fire zone. Then, the linkage between Isis-3D and the MSC P\Thermal finite element code is explained. Finally a benchmarking simulation, which reproduced the temperature data from the 30-minute light-crosswind fire using only 10 hrs of computational time on a standard workstation, is described.

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