CE22 - Sociétés urbaines, territoires, constructions et mobilité

Fire wall interaction: façade fire for safe urban buildings – FIREWALL

Submission summary

External Thermal Insulation of buildings is a widespread solution to reduce energy consumptions and has consequently received a significant interest during the past decades. Various materials were developed for this purpose. They enable efficient thermal insulations but may lead to complicated and unpredictable behaviors in cases of external fire propagations. The aim of the FIREWALL+ project is to provide a better understanding of flame propagation mechanisms along vertical walls with various structures (type and geometry) made of insulating materials (walls, windows, etc). The objective is to study wall-flame interactions from the laboratory scale, through joint experimental and imaging developments conducted by CETHIL and LEMTA, up to applications to real buildings in partnership with CSTB. The goal is to provide insights into the way fires propagate along facades. The two major digital tools used by the fire safety community will be implemented in this project: Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and FireFoam. On this last point, the consortium will benefit from the expertise of a team from the University of Maryland. For this purpose, the project FIREWALL+ will be founded on three complementary tasks: 1/ A multiphysics approach based on an original method to replicate experimentally and reproductively, through the use of various materials and injection systems, the degradation of real materials in interaction with a flame. Various wall structures will be studied and their impact on the fluid flow in interaction with the material will be analyzed. The objective is to provide a better understanding of the physical phenomena encountered during wall-flame interactions. 2/ A multiscale analysis will be developed: first local (FIREWALL-2, laboratory scale) through a collaboration between CETHIL and LEMTA, and then real (FIREWALL-1, CSTB) for which the tools developed by CETHIL and LEMTA during the local scale work will be applied. 3/ These experimental analyses will be combined with numerical simulations of the local and real scale geometries by Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) code. The boundary conditions and initialization steps will be based on outputs of the experimental work. Modeling results will be assessed against experimental data. At the end of the FIREWALL+ project, a better understanding of the physical phenomena encountered during the propagation of fires along vertical walls is expected. The results of the present project will have an impact on the definition of safety arrangements for future generations of buildings.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LEMTA Laboratoire Energies et Mécanique Théorique et Appliquée
CSTB Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment

Help of the ANR 460,418 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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