Can Water Dynamics Research Advance Fire Modeling?
XL Global Asset Protection Services, LLC (XL GAPS), in conjunction with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., recently unveiled research on water dynamics and fire sprinkler performance that could significantly improve the insurance industry’s fire safety and fire modeling capabilities. The research was presented at the Society for Fire Protection Engineers’ Annual Engineering Technology Conference, held Oct. 12-17 in Charlotte, NC.
According to Paul Hart, regional field leader for XL GAPS, “In order to really understand what happens in a fire, we need to improve on our knowledge of how water is discharged from sprinklers, how it travels through space and then how it interacts with the burning object. This data has given us a better understanding of the way that water travels to and interacts with fire under different conditions. This knowledge can help improve the reliability of fire modeling programs like the Fire Dynamics Simulator.”
Hart joined Mahmood Tabaddor, PhD, of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. to present XL GAPS’ research at the SFPE conference.
According to Hart: “While the research helps advance the science involved in fire safety, it also helps us serve our clients better and more accurately determine the necessity and extent of conducting fire tests, especially as our clients explore new building construction and design techniques such as environmentally-friendly design or green building. Improved models will give us a reasonable degree of confidence to help guide our testing efforts, including in circumstances that have never been tested before.”
XL GAPS’ research focused on examining the Actual Delivered Density (ADD) of water as it is emitted from sprinklers. This data will be used to improve the ability of modeling programs to simulate fire sprinklers’ discharge in characterizing what could happen in different fire scenarios. Fire modeling and fire testing are techniques used to predict fire dynamics, the effectiveness of sprinklers, and other fire safety measures. They are also used to study the way that fires interact with certain materials and within specific infrastructure.
XL GAPS, part of the XL Capital group of companies, provides property loss prevention consulting to XL Insurance and other companies and offers individually tailored solutions to protect and enhance property, production, and profit.