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Glazing Behaviour In a Fire Environment (G-BIFE)
Start date: 11 Sep 2007, End date: 10 Sep 2009 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The breakage of glass pane during a fire could influence the fire behaviour due to the change from impermeable barriers to large ventilation sources, resulting in the occurrence of the dangerous backdraft phenomena or post flashover flames emerging outside of the openings leading to rapid fire spread to other floors and in the most severe cases even to adjacent buildings. The project will address the thermally induced stress response of glass to the heat fluxes from fire. Two separable physical processes will be considered. The first is heat transfer from the fire and hot gases to the glass and the second is the development of thermal stresses due to the temperature difference in the exposed area of the glass from the part shielded by the frame. The later often lead to development of cracks and eventually the fracturing of the glass. The key objectives are as follows: - Develop a radiation heat transfer model for accurate prediction of temperature and heat flux distributions on the glass. - Develop a model for predicting the times to the formation of the first crack and all subsequent cracks important to glass pane fall-out. - Couple the above model with an existing CFD code to achieve combined prediction of fire loading and the occurrence of the cracks. - Develop and validate a brittle material fracture mechanics model to capture the propagation of the cracks. - Quantify the effects of window scale and aspect ratio, glass thickness, incident heat flux intensity and distribution, and pressure differential on the formation and propagation of cracks in small, medium and large scale furnaces. - Determine from laboratory tests a probable fall-out range in terms of the number, size and distribution of the cracks required to isolate pieces of the glass pane from the frame. - Develop and validate a coupled CFD and fracture mechanics model for predicting a probable window fall-out range in terms of the number, size and distribution of?
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