Here is FRIC's progress report for 2022, presented as a popular scientific presentation of activities in FRIC during 2022.
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, 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 2022 briefly described.
In work package 1 we have mapped conditions that facilitate the exchange of information from analyses of fires between different actors engaged in such work, and conditions that limit such knowledge exchange. This is an important base for developing solutions that promote learning from fires. The report from this work was published in spring 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 continued throughout 2022. An interdisciplinary group in FRIC investigated factors with regard to fire development, escape and technical building conditions. The report was published in spring 2023 and is available in Norwegian.
In collaboration with the Norwegian Fire Protection Association, we are developing the database "Ulme", where information from fires is registered and systematized. Ulme was launched at the end of 2021, and during 2022 we have received help from students at NTNU and HVL to register data from fires that have been investigated and published in open reports. The work will continue in 2023.
In work package 2, the PhD candidate is in the final phase of his work on modelling turbulent combustion at reduced oxygen concentrations. The dissertation will be submitted in spring 2024.
In the smouldering fire project, experiments have been conducted on a small and medium-sized scale to study the development of smouldering fires in bio-based materials.
Experiments have also been carried out to investigate how toxic gases and smoke from fires are formed and spread, and how the concentration and spread of toxic gases are affected by extinguishing with water. Results from all these experiments will be reported and published in 2023.
In work package 3 we investigate the properties of various combustible insulation materials, and fire safety in connection with timber structures in construction works.
Work on a guide for fire safety design of tall timber structures began in the autumn of 2021 and continued throughout 2022. The guidance is due to be completed in 2023.
The guide on upgrading fire resistance for cultural heritage doors was published, and the report is available in both Norwegian and English. A Scientific article was also developed and was published in a journal in 2023.
Two large-scale fire experiments of structures with cross-laminated wood surfaces were conducted in August 2022, as part of a PhD project. The experiments have aroused great interest, both nationally and internationally, and several publications are being prepared.
The start of the project on Building Integrated Models (BIM) and fire safety was postponed to 2023.
In 2021, work package 4 carried out a series of large-scale experiments demonstrating the effect of fixed sprinkler and water mist systems on façade fires. A draft journal article on these experiments has been written and will be submitted to a scientific journal in 2023.
A fire protection measure for homes is upholstered furniture with good fire properties, that is, they do not ignite too easily, and that they do not produce much heat and smoke when burning. In 2022, full-scale fire experiments on armchairs treated with various types of simple, cost-effective solutions to improve fire properties were carried out. This is part of a PhD project connected to FRIC, and a scientific article about the study is under development.
Fire safety in connection with solar panels on buildings is an important issue at FRIC. This applies to both retrofitted installations on roofs or façades, and installations that are integrated into building surfaces. In 2022, we started a PhD project with this as a theme. The study includes experiments on small, medium and large scales, as well as computer simulations, which aim to quantify the impact of various factors on fire spread, such as the angle of inclination of the roof or the size of the cavity between solar cells and roof surface.
You can find FRIC and an overview of all our publications in the Norwegian Research Council project bank here.
Photo: Trøndelag brann- og redningstjeneste.