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Research Summary Department of Fire Protection Engineering University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742, USA March 2010. Full-Time Faculty. Faculty Research Areas M. di Marzo suppression (water- or foam-based) A.W. Marshall fire flows, combustion, suppression

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Research SummaryDepartment of Fire Protection EngineeringUniversity of MarylandCollege Park, MD 20742, USAhttp://www.fpe.umd.eduMarch 2010
Full-Time Faculty

Faculty Research Areas

M. di Marzo suppression (water- or foam-based)

A.W. Marshall fire flows, combustion, suppression

J.A. Milke structures, detection, egress

J.G. Quintiere fire dynamics, scaling, flammability

S.I. Stoliarov pyrolysis, flammability, fire growth

P.B. Sunderland soot, fire dynamics, diagnostics

A. Trouvé turbulent combustion, fire modeling

Other Faculty

Faculty Research Areas

H. Baum applied math, CFD

V. Brannigan regulation and law

T. Kashawagi material flammability

F.W. Mowrer flammability, detection, fire modeling

  • Ignition and Flame Spread
    • Flame Spread on Polymers (Stoliarov)
    • Modeling UL 94V (Quintiere)
    • Spontaneous Ignition for Investigation (Quintiere)
    • Burning Rate
    • Burning Rates of Charring Polymers (Stoliarov)
    • Candle Flames (Quintiere/Sunderland)
    • Emulated Burning Rate (Quintiere/Sunderland)
    • Flame-Wall Interactions (Trouvé)
    • N-Heptane Pool Fires (Quintiere)
    • Spill and Burning Behavior of Flammable Liquids (Quintiere)
    • Tools for Numerical Experiments (Trouvé)
    • Heat Transfer
    • Near Wall Mixing and Heat Transfer (Marshall/Trouvé)
    • Fire Chemistry
    • Flame Design (Sunderland)
    • Pyrolysis Modeling (Trouvé)
    • Smoke Points in Microgravity (Sunderland)
    • Soot Oxidation (Sunderland)
  • Plumes
  • Dispersion (Marshall/Quintiere)
  • Flame Length Under a Ceiling (Quintiere)
  • Modeling of Turbulent Wall Fires (Trouvé)
  • Detection
  • Smoke Detection (Milke)
  • Compartment Fires
  • New MQH Formula for Temperature (Quintiere)
  • Physical Scale Modeling for Investigation (Quintiere/Marshall)
  • Under-Ventilated Fires (Quintiere)
  • Vent Flows (Quintiere)
  • Human Behavior
  • Egress (Milke)
  • Suppression
  • Spray Suppression (Marshall/Baum)
Ignition and Flame Spread

Flame Spread on Polymers

  • Faculty: Stoliarov
  • M.S. Students: I. Leventon
  • Title: Two-Dimensional Burning Model for Aircraft Materials
  • Sponsor: FAA
  • Objective: Understand and predict the initial rate of flame spread on typical representative aircraft interior or body materials.
Ignition and Flame Spread

Modeling UL 94V

  • Faculty: Quintiere, with R. Lyon, FAA
  • M.S. Student: B. Downey, currently with SAIC
  • Title: An Investigation of the UL 94V Plastics Flammability Test, 6th Int. Sem. on Fire and Explosions (2010)
  • Sponsor: FAA
  • Objective: Predict rating for UL 94V in terms of properties.
Ignition and Flame Spread

Spontaneous Ignition for Investigation

  • Faculty: Quintiere, with T. Minnich, U Cent Fla
  • M.S. Student: J. Worden
  • Title: Spontaneous Ignition (Oven Test Method)
  • Sponsor: NIJ
  • Objective: Help fire investigators better assess spontaneous ignition.


Baskets with Thermocouples


Linseed Oil with Cotton Rags

Burning Rate

Burning Rates of Charring Polymers

  • Faculty: Stoliarov
  • Ph.D. Students: TBD
  • Title: Prediction of the Burning Rates of Charring Polymers
  • Sponsor: Minta Martin Funds
  • Objective: Develop and validate a detailed numerical model for burning of charring and intumescing polymers in a cone calorimeter.
Burning Rate

Candle Flames

  • Faculty: Quintiere, Sunderland
  • M.S. Student: Tabaka, Visiting Scholars: Lian/Chiu
  • Title: Analysis and Measurement of Candle Flame Shapes
  • Submitted: Combustion Symposium, Beijing (2010)
  • Objectives: Measurements, theory and correlations for flame height and flame width as a function of wick dimensions.

C as 0.526 and 0.470, and

n as 0.75 and 0.60 for

tetracosane and paraffin, respectively

Burning Rate

Emulated Burning Rate

  • Faculty: Quintiere, Sunderland
  • Ph.D. Student: K.T. Dotson
  • Title: Experimental Investigation of Emulated Burning Rate at Various Gravity Levels
  • Sponsor: NASA Glenn
  • Objective: Measure and correlate the steady burning rates of a range of fuels as a function of orientation and gravity.




Heat of Combustion, ΔHc: 5 – 50 MJ/kg

Heat of Gasification, L: 0.5 – 5 MJ/kg

Surface Temperature, Ts: 50 – 500°C

Gravity, g: 10-4 – 1.5g

Angle, θ: 0 – 180°

Heat Flux Gage

Fuel Properties


Burning Rate

Flame-Wall Interactions

  • Faculty: A. Trouvé,withU. Piomelli (Queens U.)
  • PhD Students: L. Bravo, A. Voegele
  • Title: Numerical Modeling of Non-Premixed Flame-Wall Interactions in Turbulent Boundary Layer Flows
  • Sponsors: NSF, NASA
  • Objective: Develop a high-fidelity, parallel, LES solver for turbulent combustion. Application to simulations of boundary layer combustion (fundamental studies; CFD model development and validation).
  • 2009 Results: Extension of initial constant density code to variable mass density and combustion.

LES simulation of a film cooling configuration

Burning Rate

N-Heptane Pool Fires

  • Faculty: Quintiere, with Bing Chen
  • Collaborator: L.S. Lu (USTC, China)
  • Title: Pool fire under different initial fuel temperatures
  • Sponsor: National Natural Science Foundation of China
  • Objective: Study the effects of initial fuel temperature on pool fire behavior. Application to fire hazards of high-temperature fuel.
Faculty: Quintiere

M.S. Student: M. Benfer

Collaborators: D. Gottuk and C. Mealy (Hughes)

Sponsor: NIJ

Objective: Develop and validate a flammable liquid spread and burning behavior model by assessing the spreading dynamics and burning behavior of liquids over a flat surface.

Burning Rate





Spill and Burning Behavior of Flammable Liquids

Preliminary Spill Results

Spill Formation Substrate

Burning Rate

soot mass fraction


Tools for Numerical Experiments

  • Faculty: A. Trouvé, PhD student: P. Narayanan, Post-doc: V.R. Lecoustre
  • Collaborators: H.G. Im (UMich), D. Haworth (PSU), T. Lu (UConn), R. Sankaran (ORNL), K.-L. Ma (UC-Davis)
  • Title: Petascale Computing, Visualization, and Science Discovery of Turbulent Sooting Flames
  • Sponsor: NSF
  • Objective: Develop a massively-parallel, high-fidelity, DNS solver to simulate soot-flame-radiation interactions in turbulent combustion.
  • 2009 Results: Basic study of radiation extinction in sooting, luminous, laminar and turbulent diffusion flames.



soot levels

Radiation extinction in a turbulent diffusion flame

Heat Transfer

Near Wall Mixing and Heat Transfer

  • Faculty: Marshall, Trouvé
  • Ph.D. Students: A. Voegele, F. Raffan
  • Collaborator: C. Cadou (UMD)
  • Title: Detailed Experiments and Model Development for Thrust Chamber Film Cooling
  • Sponsor: NASA Marshall
  • Objective: Characterize the detailed mixing and transport processes near film cooled surfaces to support near-wall CFD model development.

Film cooling effectiveness and near wall diagnostics

Faculty: Sunderland

Ph.D. Student: V.R. Lecoustre

Collaborators:V. Lecoustre,R.L. Axelbaum, D.L. Urban, B.H. Chao

Title: Flame Design: A Novel Approach to Clean Efficient Diffusion Flames

Sponsor: NASA Glenn

Objectives: Study the effects of fuel and oxidizer dilution on soot formation and flame extinction. Application to smoke and extinction.

Preparing for testing aboard the International Space Station.

Fire Chemistry

Flame Design

Fire Chemistry

Pyrolysis Modeling

  • Faculty: A. Trouvé,MS students: R. Webster, M. McKeever, Z. Ghorbani
  • Collaborator: M. Lázaro (U. Cantabria, Spain)
  • Sponsor: NIJ
  • Objectives: Develop thermal properties and burning item database (the database has a material property component populated by cone calorimeter test data and an object property component populated by furniture calorimeter test data). Develop models to describe the formation of flammable vapors from pyrolysis of solid fuel sources.
  • 2009 Results: Construction of preliminary version of database. Evaluation of limitations of current methodologies for pyrolysis modeling.
Faculty: Sunderland

M.S. Student: K.T. Dotson

Collaborators:D.L. Urban, Z.G. Yuan

Title: Smoke Points in Coflow Experiment (SPICE)

Sponsor: NASA Glenn

Objectives: Study the effects of fuel type and coflow on soot emissions. Application to spacecraft fire safety.

Images shown are from the International Space Station.

Fire Chemistry

Smoke Points in Microgravity

Faculty: Sunderland

Title: Soot Oxidation in Hydrocarbon-Free Flames

Sponsor: NSF

Objectives: Establish soot oxidation kinetics for OH, O2, O, CO2 and H2O. Application to smoke emission and radiation.

Measurements to be performed include soot volume fraction, soot temperature, soot structure, and gas compositions.

Fire Chemistry

Soot Oxidation

Wide View Close-Up

hydrogen diffusion flame

70 mm

propylene diffusion flame


Preliminary visualization of a plume in cross-flow


  • Faculty: Marshall, Quintiere
  • M.S. Students: C. Haus, A. Goodman, T. Layton
  • Title: Characterizing Buoyancy Induced Dispersion via Scale Modeling
  • Sponsors: NIJ, Combustion Science and Engineering
  • Objective: Apply PLIF, PIV, and other non-intrusive diagnostics for use in dispersion studies. Current focus is salt-water dispersion experiments (used for: applied studies of smoke transport and detector response; plume dispersion studies; CFD model validation).


Dispersion measurements; impinging plume (above); centerline unconfined plume (right)


Flame Length Under a Ceiling

  • Faculty , J. G. Quintiere
  • Title: Prediction of the flame length under a ceiling
  • Sponsor: JL Bryan funds
  • Objective: Develop a theoretical basis for correlating a wide range of data for ceiling flame length

Modeling of Turbulent Wall Fires

  • Faculty: A. Trouvé
  • PhD Student: A. Ojofeitimi,Intern: F. Collonval
  • Sponsor: FM Global
  • Objectives: Develop next-generation CFD tool for fire modeling (OpenFOAM framework) - Adapt FireFOAM (developed by FMG) to treat wall fire configurations.
  • 2009 Results: Validation study focused on convective heat transfer in classical buoyancy-driven turbulent vertical wall boundary layer flow.

Wall model to calculate convective heat flux in buoyancy-driven turbulent boundary layer


Smoke Detection

  • Faculty: Milke
  • Title: Comparative loss of life and injury analysis between: fully sprinklered occupancies, smoke detector-only occupancies and sprinklered in combination with smoke detector-protected occupancies
  • Sponsor: NEMA
  • Objective: Conduct a literature review and statistical analysis of the losses that have occurred in fire incidents in U.S. buildings with sprinklers and smoke detectors.

Sprinkler performance in U.S. Resid. Fires (2003-06) (% of fire incidents)

Death rates/ 100 U.S. Resid. Fires,


Compartment Fires

New MQH Formula for Temperature

  • Faculty: Quintiere
  • M.S. Student: P. Sharma
  • Publication: “Compartment Fire Temperatures,” JFPE (2010)
  • Objective: Use new vent flow formula to compute compartment fire temperatures and compare to MQH formula.





Compartment Fires

Physical Scale Modeling for Investigation

  • Faculty: Quintiere
  • M.S. Student: A.Carey
  • Collaborators: Marshall, C. Chan, D.T. Sheppard (ATF)
  • Title: Scale Modeling of Static Fires in a Complex Geometry for Forensic Fire Applications
  • Sponsor: NIJ
  • Objective: Apply Froude scaling to various fuels to develop a methodology for fire investigators.
  • Presented at 2009 ESSCI Conference.

Full Scale 1/8th Scale

Compartment Fires

Under-Ventilated Fires

  • Faculty: Quintiere, with B. Chen
  • Collaborators: L.S. Lu (USTC, China)
  • Title: Flow through ceiling vents in enclosure fire
  • Sponsor: National Natural Science Foundation of China
  • Objective: Investigate the smoke flowing through the horizontal vent in enclosure fires. Understand the critical condition of the unidirectional and bidirectional flow, and compute the volumetric flow.
Compartment Fires

Vent Flows

  • Faculty: Quintiere, with L. Wang, China U Mining & Tech.
  • “The Mixture Fraction to Predict Product Species in Fire,” Int J Eng Perf Fire Codes (2007)
  • “An analysis of compartment fire doorway flows,” FSJ (2009)
  • “A general formula for the prediction of vent flows,” FSJ (2009)
  • Sponsor: Chinese government
  • Objective: Develop new analytical formulas to estimate vent flows in compartment fires, and a new algorithm for predicting species in a zone model.

Schematic of flows



Human Behavior


  • Faculty: Milke
  • Title: Analysis of Observations of People Movement Characteristics during Evacuation of High Rise Office Buildings
  • Sponsor: NIST
  • Objective: Assess the linear relationship commonly assumed between stairwell width and the speed and flow of occupants evacuating from high-rise buildings.

Evacuation Times for 24 Story Building-A


Spray Suppression

  • Faculty: Marshall, Baum
  • Ph.D. Students: N. Ren, P.Y.H. Zheng
  • M.S. Student: B. Salyers
  • Collaborator: P. Tartarini (U. Modena)
  • Title: Fire Suppression Spray Characterization
  • Sponsors: NSF, FM Global
  • Objective: Characterize the initial sprinkler spray for analysis/simulation of water-based fire suppression systems. Application to sprinkler systems and integration into CFD solvers (e.g., FDS).

Ddef = 25 mm

Atomization experiments for fire suppression devices


The FPE Department…

  • …has many state-of-the-art capabilities
    • Advanced diagnostics (PIV, PLIF, etc)
    • High-fidelity numerical solvers (FDS, LES, DNS)
    • Analysis and scaling
  • …is a leading institution in Fire Science
    • Fluid mechanics and heat transfer in fires
    • Fire modeling (scale modeling, zone modeling, CFD modeling)
  • …is a leading institution in FPE professional practice
    • Evaluation and development of standards
    • Testing combined with analysis