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Fire Protection

We exploit a range of theoretical, computational and experimental methods to identify key principles of fire behaviour, which increases our knowledge of advanced fire protection technology, materials and procedures.

Major research topics:

  • Fire Physics and Modelling
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics Fire and Combustion Modelling
  • Non-linear dynamical models in Fire Dynamics
  • Fire Suppression
  • Combustion Theory

Fire Chemistry

  • Novel functional materials
  • Organic/inorganic hybrid materials
  • Novel polymeric fuels for hybrid propulsion
  • Passive fire control (reactive strategies)
  • Active fire control (chemical enhancements)
  • Cleaner combustion techniques
  • Environmentally sustainable materials

Safety and Risk Analysis through Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Decision Support for Fire Safety Engineering is a newly emerging area of research offering advanced techniques for risk analysis. We include members of the Artificial Intelligence Research Group, Faculty of Computing and Engineering, UU

Selected Projects

Dynamical System (Lattice Boltzmann) Modelling of Compartment Fires

The project develops Lattice Boltzmann (LBM) computational model and code for non-isothermal flow and combustion.

Chemically Enhanced Water Mist Fire Suppression

The project investigates synergetic fire suppression effects (on small and large scales) of water mist and various chemical additives.

Numerical Simulation of Combustion Process in a Hybrid Rocket Engine

Chemically Modified and Nano-Composite Polymers as Novel Fuels for Hybrid Rocket Propulsion

Hybrid rocket engines have a number of very attractive features over solid and liquid propulsion engines. Despite significant research conducted in this area, the use of hybrid rocket engines is still limited due to inherent problems. One of these problems is low fuel regression rate. Several approaches may address this problem: multiport grain, swirling or impinging flow, as well as chemical techniques leading to energetic additives or advanced fuels. Although significant progresses have been observed, more research is required in this direction.

With a view of increasing the fuel regression rates, we have focused our attention on chemically-modified polymers with Si-containing groups, we then use the modified polymers as the rocket fuel, as Si-containing groups could make decomposition easier. In order to investigate the effect of Si on the fuel regression rate, novel polymers based on polymethyl methacrylate and polypropylene containing Si were made, and the heats of combustion and the thermal degradation data relevant to the fuel regression rate were obtained. To evaluate the effect on the fuel regression rate more quantitatively and in detail, the degradation rates of Si-containing polymers were estimated primarily by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) with different heating rates.

Currently, we are exploring ways of chemically attaching boron-containing groups and molecularly mixing nano-meter sized carbon particles in some olefinic and acrylic polymers. For instance, the former can be achieved through either grafting a boron-containing unsaturated compound to PP, or by copolymerization of MMA with a reactive olefinic boron-containing species, in solution, under radical initiation. In the latter case of uniformly mixing nanometer-sized carbon, we propose melt mixing of the parent polymer matrices with virgin, or surface-modified, carbon particles.