Congratulations to Brian Hall on Successfully Defending his MS Thesis!

Brian Hall, an MS student in Fire Protection Engineering successfully defended  his thesis  on April 9th!


TitleTransient Fire Loads on Aluminum Ferries

Professor Michael J. Gollner, Committee Chair
Professor James Milke
Professor Stanislav Stoliarov

The transient fire load aboard aluminum passenger ferries is studied to determine the contribution that baggage has on increasing the temperature of the compartment overhead, which serves as the deck for passenger rendezvous during fire emergencies on many large vessels. Single-point and average temperature maximums are compared for a variety of baggage fire scenarios to determine if critical temperatures are reached that would compromise the structural integrity of the aluminum.
A survey of passenger ferry vessels has been performed to determine the extent and type of baggage loading present in passenger compartments. The baggage type, carriage rate, and baggage weight were recorded to determine the overall fire load as well as the average weight of luggage brought on board. Ferry vessels were examined for problem locations and potential sources of elevated flame lengths that may cause the flame to impinge directly on the aluminum structure overhead.
The Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) by the National institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is used to model a representative large passenger ferry compartment. Multiple scenarios are simulated with baggage and seat burning along with consideration of flame spread based on a critical heat flux and collected survey results.
Based on the results of the survey, it was determined that the majority of aluminum ferries, when fully loaded, attain higher fuel loads than allowed by current Coast Guard requirements. Subsequent simulations also revealed that the current level of loading compromises the structural integrity of the aluminum superstructure on an average ferry. Additional scenarios tested, such as a stroller parked in the corner of a passenger compartment, would raise the temperature of the aluminum superstructure to a level that would compromise safety. It is recommended that regulatory changes be made to ensure that these extreme scenarios are avoided to protect life and property.