Impact of Firefighting Sprays on the Fire Performance of Structural Steel Members

Rahul Kallada Janardhan, Saani Shakil, Marko Hassinen, Wei Lu, Jari Puttonen, Simo Hostikka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The feasibility of coupled computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element (FE) simulations to aid the planning of fire intervention tactics and the effectiveness of structural cooling during firefighting were investigated. Water sprays, generated using fire monitors, were characterized using bucket tests and the results were used for calibrating the CFD spray model. The cooling ability of the sprays was measured experimentally by applying them onto a fire exposed steel beam. The experimental results showed that water application produces a sudden drop in steel temperatures and after 10–15 s, no significant further reduction in temperature was observed. The CFD-FE coupling was performed using the adiabatic surface temperature method, extended here to include the cooling by water droplets. The coupled CFD-FE model was validated using the experimental data and applied to simulate the intervention to a developing warehouse fire, showing how an attempt to cool the structure reduces the temperatures but does not stall the fire-spread. In fact, the intervention -induced vapor generation was found to enhance the flow of hot gases and accelerate the fire-spread if the water resources are inadequate. Thermal and stress analyses of the cooled and uncooled truss beams were performed, showing how the spray cooling halted the truss mid-span deformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2405-2440
Number of pages36
JournalFire Technology
Issue number4
Early online date7 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Abaqus
  • Adiabatic surface temperature
  • FDS
  • Fire spread
  • Firefighting
  • Water monitors


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