Best Poster and Best Fire Science Image Awards at the 10th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science!

The 10th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science was held at the University of Maryland, College Park this past week and brought together an impressive group of scientists and engineers working on today’s fire science problems. Before I go on about the conference, a moment of sharing the exciting news that we have won both the Best Poster and Best Fire Science Image Awards! The image, “Fan of Fire” – Surface Inclination Effects on Upward Flame Spread and the poster “An Experimental Study of Upward Flame Spread over Inclined Fuels” with authors Michael J. Gollner, Xinyan Huang, Forman A. Williams, and Ali S. Rangwala won these awards! A description of the image shown is at the bottom and the poster can be viewed here.

The conference was an excellent opportunity to interact with researchers in so many different aspects of the fire problem. Prof. Carlos Fernandez-Pello delivered a plenary lecture on ignition of solid fuels, which is a topic that especially resonates with the fire community with the development of new pyrolysis models. It was also great to see a presence from the wildfire research community, culminating with the plenary lecture by Domingos Xavier Viegas. I learned a lot from presentations, but perhaps the most important facet of the conference were the comments, suggestions and ideas I received from fellow researchers. There are too many to name, but I want to thank all those who contributed. I look forward to the next conference in 2014 in New Zeland!

“Fan of Fire” – Surface Inclination Effects on Upward Flame Spread
Michael Gollner, Xinyan Huang and Forman A. Williams
University of California, San Diego
Ali S. Rangwala
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

This “fan of fire” visually displays the effect gravity has on upward flame spread over thermally-thick materials. Starting from the left “ceiling fire”, as the inclination angle or tilt of a burning surface is increased underside flames transition from blue, well-mixed laminar flames into increasingly turbulent yellow flames on the topside that “lift” from the surface dramatically increasing the flame thickness. These images were taken perpendicular to the surface of a thick sample of Polymethyl Methacrylate mounted flush into insulation board as flames spread upward. These tests have helped in finding critical inclinations with maximum flame spread rates, burning rates and heat fluxes from the flame.