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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 builds on the fundamental understanding about the fire laboratory that the students gained in the "Principles of the Fire Laboratory" class. It consists of a series of laboratory sessions that will allow the student to undertake experimental investigation of fire science phenomena of relevance to fire safety engineering. For each topic the purpose of the experiment will be introduced and reference will be made to relevant theoretical treatments which can support understanding and interpretation of the results, 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. Students will work in groups to complete the labs but all reporting and assessment is individual.
Course description 1. Calorific values (4 hours)
Gross heats of combustion will be obtained for user selected specimens in the bomb calorimeter; consideration will be given to the concepts of ┬┐repeatability┬┐ and ┬┐reproducibility┬┐ and the conversion to net heat of combustion will be explored

2. Reaction-to-fire (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

3. Flame spread (4 hours)
The physical mechanisms controlling flame spread will be described on the basis of a lateral flame spread test (LIFT). 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

4. Pool fires (4-8 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. The students will be responsible for design and installation of instrumentation. Empirical and analytical formulations will be validated for various fire sizes with respect to characteristic parameters, i.e.:
- Centreline temperatures
- Entrainment rates

5. Compartment fires (4-8 hours)
The fire behaviours associated with different burning regimes will be examined by means of an instrumented test in a reduced scale compartment. The students will be responsible for the design of the fire and ventilation, as well as design and installation of instrumentation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Personal safety boots are needed (should have been obtained in S1). Lab coats, safety glasses and gloves are provided.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment will be based on coursework submissions (100%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a practical understanding of designing performing and interpreting tests and experiments in fire science
  2. Develop understanding of fundamental fire science and fire dynamics phenomena related to material flammability
  3. Show an ability to document experimental outcomes, including handling measurement uncertainty and limitations of theory and measurements
Reading List
Drysdale, D. (2011) "An Introduction to Fire Dynamics", 3rd ed., Wiley & Sons (or earlier editions)

SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 5th ed., Hurley, M. ed., NFPA, Quincy, MA, 2016 (or earlier editions)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Stephen Welch
Tel: (0131 6)50 5734
Course secretaryMiss Mhairi Sime
Tel: (0131 6)50 5687
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