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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Postgrad (School of Engineering)

Postgraduate Course: Fire Science Laboratory (MSc) (PGEE11137)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course consists of a series of laboratory sessions that will introduce the student to a variety of different experimental techniques of relevance to fire safety engineering. Each session will be introduced with a guide to relevant theory with the aim of providing the students with the fundamental knowledge to support understanding and interpretation of the experiments, as well as a safety briefing and guide to risk assessment. The use of standard tests and the application of the results to design will be emphasized.
Course description 1. Liquid fuel ignition (4 hours)
This is the second ignition laboratory demonstrations conducted to illustrate the use of ignition to establish flammability criteria.
- Flash point/fire point
- Physical processes and Standard tests

2. Burning Rate (6 hours)
The evolution of the burning rate and fire dynamics of fire plumes as a function of different parameters will be established, using open pool fires. Empirical and analytical formulations will be validated for various fire sizes with respect to characteristic parameters, i.e.:
- Centreline temperatures
- Entrainment rate
The effects of confining the fire within a compartment will also be examined and interpreted in relation to simple fire models.

3. Reaction-to-fire behaviour of solids (4 hours)
In this laboratory, the cone calorimeter apparatus is used to examine the reaction-to-fire behaviour of solid fuels under different heat exposures, with specific attention to:
- Ignition time
- Subsequent energy release rate
From the measurements, the following parameters will be determined:
- Ignition temperature
- Thermal inertia

4. Flame spread (4 hours)
The physical mechanisms controlling flame spread will be described on the basis of a lateral flame spread test. The demonstration will emphasize the following aspects:
- Materials properties: influence of a material thermal and chemical properties on the rate of spread (liquid:solid, high density:low density, charring: non-charring, melting:non-melting)
- Orientation: upward, downward, horizontal, lateral.
- External heat flux
- Fuel thickness: thick:thin materials.

5. Spontaneous ignition (4 hours)
This is the first of two laboratory demonstrations conducted to illustrate the different processes leading to ignition of combustible materials and is intended to provide insight on the ignition phenomenon.
- Application of ignition theory
- Piloted, Auto and Spontaneous ignition
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Safety boots are needed.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate understanding of ignition (solid and liquid/gaseous).
  2. Demonstrate understanding of burning rate and flame spread.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of oxygen consumption calorimetry.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of fire dynamics, including fire plumes.
Reading List
Drysdale, D. An Introduction to Fire Dynamics, 3rd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2011 (or earlier editions)

SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 4th ed., DiNenno, P.J. ed., NFPA, Quincy, MA, 2009 (or earlier editions)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Grunde Jomaas
Tel: (0131 6)50 7209
Course secretaryMiss Margaret Robertson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5565
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