The following popular scientific presentation of activities in FRIC during 2021 is uploaded to the Research Council of Norway’s project bank, and is presented again here for our readers.
Annually fires lead to major losses in terms of fatalities, injured people, and lost values. In response to this challenge, the Fire Research and Innovation Centre (FRIC) started in the spring of 2019. The main objective is to increase knowledge within the field of fire science in order to support decisions and develop better solutions providing increased fire safety in buildings. FRIC shall strengthen cooperation and lead to a long-term increase of competence and dissemination of knowledge within the fire safety field.
The research is organised into four work packages:
1. Evidence-based decision-making within fire safety
2. Fire dynamics and modeling
3. Building technology and design
4. Fire safety measures and new technology
Multidisciplinary collaboration is a prerequisite for the development of good solutions in the centre. FRIC is led by RISE Fire Research in Trondheim, with NTNU and SINTEF as research partners. The research centre has partners from the public sector, fire and rescue service, consultancy engineers, manufacturers of building materials and building installations, as well as within real estate development and management.
Below is a selection of activities in the four work packages in 2021 briefly described.
Work package 1:
A survey of conditions that facilitates the exchange of information from analyses of fires between different actors engaged in such work, and conditions that limit such knowledge exchange has been carried out. This is an important knowledge base for developing solutions that promote learning from fires. The report from this work was published in 2022 and is available in both Norwegian and English.
The analysis of the fire in a municipal residential building at Lone in Bergen in August 2021 was started. This analysis will provide knowledge about fire development, escape- and building conditions.
In collaboration with the Norwegian Fire Protection Association, we are contributing to the development of the database "Ulme" (Smoulder) where information from fires is registered and systematised. Ulme was launched at the end of 2021.
Work package 2:
We are well underway with modelling of turbulent combustion at reduced oxygen concentrations.
In the project on smouldering fires, small and medium scale experiments have been carried out.
The project that deals with the formation and spread of toxic gases and smoke from fires was started in August 2021, and a test rig for fire experiments was built.
Work package 3:
Two of the research topics are properties of various combustible insulation materials, and fire safety in connection with wooden structures in buildings.
The development of guidelines for fire design of tall wooden structures began in the autumn of 2021.
Fire experiments were carried out in connection with a project on how to upgrade fire resistance for cultural heritage doors. The experiments will form the basis for guidelines.
Planning of large-scale fire experiments in 2022 of structures with surfaces of cross-laminated wood has been carried out.
Planning of the project on building-integrated models (BIM) and fire safety was initiated.
Work package 4:
A series of large-scale experiments demonstrated the effect of fixed sprinkler and water mist systems on façade fires. In the autumn of 2021, a cooperation agreement was signed with the International Water Mist Association (IWMA), with the aim of evaluating the performance of sprinkler systems as a benchmark for other extinguishing systems.
We are working to develop a small-scale test method where textiles used in protective clothing for firefighters are exposed to "standardised" smoke. The purpose is to document resistance to the penetration of smoke particles. In December 2021, experiments were conducted to investigate how exposure to heat affects thermal stress and workload in firefighters during simulated smoke diving.
Fire protection measures for homes have been mapped, especially regarding the protection of people at risk in a fire situation. In this context, small-scale screening experiments have been carried out to find simple, cost-effective solutions to improve the fire properties of upholstered furniture. The results form the basis for investigating the effect of the measures in full-scale fire experiments.
Unintended fire alarms are a major problem, and we are working to develop guidelines for assessing various technical aspects connected to the procurement of fire detectors.
Fire safety in connection with solar panels on buildings is an important topic in FRIC. This applies to both retrofitted installations on roofs or façades, and to installations that are integrated into building surfaces. The study includes small, medium and large-scale experiments and computer simulations, which aim to quantify the impact of various factors on the spread of fire, such as the angle of inclination of the roof or the size of the cavity between solar cells and the roof surface.
The Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology makes it possible to transfer energy from the battery of an electric vehicle to the power grid in a building during periods of high energy consumption. In 2021, we have studied the effects of V2G and also of smart ventilation systems on the fire safety of buildings. We have also investigated methods for energy storage and energy production in terms of fire safety in buildings.
You may find FRIC and all our publications in the project bank of the Research Council of Norway here.