RESEARCH PAPERS: Natural Convection

Turbulent Penetrative and Recirculating Flow in a Compartment Fire

[+] Author and Article Information
A. H. Abib, Y. Jaluria

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08903

J. Heat Transfer 117(4), 927-935 (Nov 01, 1995) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2836312 History: Received February 01, 1994; Revised February 01, 1995; Online January 23, 2008


A numerical study of a turbulent penetrative and recirculating flow induced by the energy input from a fire at the bottom boundary in a partially open rectangular enclosure is carried out. The compartment is connected through an opening to a long corridor, which opens into a stably stratified environment. The condition that is of interest is a stable, two-layered, temperature stratification, which is assumed to be caused by fire in an adjacent enclosure. In this study, attention is focused on the interaction between the cavity and its surrounding ambient medium through the opening. The influence of the stratification is examined in the turbulent flow regime by considering a range of stratification levels for given opening height and initial interface location. It is found that, depending on the stratification, the thermal plume above the fire may never reach the ceiling. Small penetration distances occur at large stratification levels. The flow field reveals a multicellular pattern: a strong main convective cell at the bottom and a weak counterrotating cell at the top. The stable thermal stratification can cause a destruction of the turbulence. This results in the relaminarization of the flow in the upper region of the cavity and may significantly affect the transport processes in the enclosure. This could distort the simplistic concept of two homogeneous gas layers, which forms the basis of zone modeling for compartment fires.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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