The objective of the project, therefore, was to develop the new, sophisticated
modelling techniques required to help in the development and optimisation of new
technology fire detection and fire suppression-extinguishment systems. For industry, the
development of these techniques would provide the following capabilities and benefits:
- the ability to model the effect of different fire scenarios and fire positions, the
ability to model the effect of different physical configurations of aircraft, ships,
vehicles and buildings and the ability to generate data to allow the fire proofing of
these enclosures to be assessed;
- the ability to model fire detection-activation systems and water mist
suppression-extinguishment systems to allow their performance (detection, suppression and
extinguishment) to be assessed and optimised without conducting fire tests;
- a reduction in system development time and in the number of fire tests necessary for
- the replacement of synthetic extinguishing media that damage the environment.
The software models to be developed and validated would include the following:
- a fire model capable of predicting the spread of fire hazards throughout the atmosphere
of a forced ventilated enclosure, subject to a fire of prescribed characteristics;
- a detection-activation model which predicts the activation of fire sensors within a
forced ventilated enclosure;
- a water mist-fire atmosphere interaction model;
- a fire suppression model.
Note that further work would be required to allow the modelling of other alternative
agents such as powders and other gases and of alternative structures (e.g. buildings).
There is an immediate need to improve fire detection systems. With the increasing cost
of halon, and with depleting halon stocks, the demand for a halon replacement suppression
medium is increasing. The aim of the programme, therefore, was to put the Consortium in a
position by the end of the programme, to provide an improved fire detection system and an
acceptable halon replacement suppressant in the form of water mist. This time scale was
commensurate with market demand within the airline industry.