Computational fluid dynamics modelling of fire

Kevin McGrattan (Corresponding Author), Randall McDermott, Jason Floyd, Simo Hostikka, Glenn Forney, Howard Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


An overview of a methodology for simulating fires and other thermally-driven, low-speed flows is presented. The model employs a number of simplifications of the governing equations that allow for relatively fast simulations of practical fire scenarios. The hydrodynamic model consists of the low Mach number large-eddy simulation subgrid closure with either a constant or dynamic coefficient eddy diffusivity. Combustion is typically treated as a mixing-controlled, single-step reaction of fuel and oxygen. The radiation transport equation is written in terms of a spectrally-averaged grey gas. Applications of the model include the design of fire protection systems in buildings and the reconstruction of actual fires.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-361
JournalInternational Journal of Computational Fluid Dynamics
Issue number6-8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • combustion
  • fire
  • large-eddy simulation
  • low Mach number approximation
  • lumped species
  • thermal radiation


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