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Experimental and Numerical Study of the Interaction Between Water Mist and Fire in an Intermediate Test Tunnel


The paper deals with interaction between water mist and hot gases in a longitudinally ventilated tunnel. The work aims at understanding the interaction of mist, smoke and ventilation.The study is based on one intermediate tunnel test and an extensive use of the computational code Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS, NIST). The approach consists first of reconstructing the test with the CFD code by defining the relevant numerical parameters to accurately model the involved water mist system. Then, it consists of handling from the local data the complicated flows generated by the water mist flooding on the one hand and by fire and ventilation on the other hand. The last stage consists in quantifying each mechanism involved in interaction between water mist and hot gases. There are three main results in this study. Firstly, the CFD code prediction is also evaluated in this configuration, with and without water mist. Before the mist system activation, the agreement is satisfactory for gas temperatures and heat flux. After the activation time, the CFD code predicts well the thermal environment and in particular its stratification. Secondly, water mist plays a strong thermal role since in the test studied, roughly half of the heat released by fire is absorbed by water droplets. Thirdly, heat transfer from gaseous phase to droplets is the main mechanism involved (73%). The remaining heat absorbed by droplets results from tunnel surface cooling which represents (9%) and radiative attenuation (18%).

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C p :

Heat capacity (J kg−1 K)

h :

Heat transfer coefficient (W m−2 K−1)

L v :

Latent heat of vaporization (J kg−1)

m :

Mass (kg)

Q :

Energy (W)

S :

Surface area (m2)

T :

Temperature (K)

t :

Time (s)

V :

Volume (m3)

V c :

Control volume (m3)


Density (kg m−3)

g :

Gas property

fire :

Fire property

p :

Water droplet property

d :

Tunnel openings property

w :

Tunnel walls property


Heat release rate


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First of all, the authors would like to thank the French agency ANRT for the funding of E. Blanchard during her PhD work. They also want to thank E. Cesmat, R. Meyrand and the French authorities DDSC and CETU for having investigated and greatly contributed to the research project.

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Correspondence to E. Blanchard.

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Blanchard, E., Boulet, P., Fromy, P. et al. Experimental and Numerical Study of the Interaction Between Water Mist and Fire in an Intermediate Test Tunnel. Fire Technol 50, 565–587 (2014).

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  • Water mist
  • Fire
  • Tunnel
  • Interaction phenomena
  • CFD
  • Model test