Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Brian J. Savilonis, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

David A. Lucht, Department Head




"A series of full-scale fire tests were performed, using a fire compartment and an adjoining long (30+ m) corridor, as part of an effort to quantify the dynamics associated with smoke transport within a corridor. The tests were performed at the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center’s Fire and Safety Test Detachment in Mobile, Alabama on board the Test Vessel Mayo Lykes. The resulting empirical data was analyzed in an effort to develop a method that could be used to estimate the movement of smoke within a corridor. The objective is to potentially incorporate this method into a smoke movement analysis “tool” that could, in turn, be used in conjunction with a fire safety analysis methodology previously developed by the U.S. Coast Guard; the Ship fire Safety Engineering Methodology (SFSEM). The goal is to develop a smoke movement analysis “module” that can be utilized in conjunction with the SFSEM when conducting an overall fire safety analysis of a ship. Of particular interest is the speed at which the smoke propagates along the length of the corridor. The focus of a smoke movement module would be life safety. A conservative assumption is made that if smoke is present in sufficient quantities to fill a corridor, then the corridor is to be considered untenable and not available as a means of egress. No attempt is made to address toxicity or density issues associated with smoke. This analysis developed correlations for the corridor smoke velocity, both as a function of the heat release rate of the associated fire and the upper layer temperatures within the fire compartment. Problems associated with the data collection and the narrow range of fire sizes used had a detrimental impact on the confidence level in the correlation based on heat release rate. The data do appear to confirm the results of previous efforts that indicated a weak relationship between the heat release rate and smoke velocity, on the order of the one-third to one-fourth power. The temperature data tended to be less problematic. This correlation shows promise for potential use with both the SFSEM and other existing computer models/routines. However, unlike previous studies of this relationship, the results of these data suggest that the velocity-temperature relationship is linear and not a square-root function. The test data were compared to predictive results using the CORRIDOR routine within FPETOOL. In general, the CORRIDOR results provided a reasonable good correlation to the tests data. Both the wave depth and temperature loss within the wave, as a function of distance, were consistently over-predicted. The velocity results were mixed, but were generally within 20 percent of the test data. The results of this study show promise, with respect to developing a correlation that can be used a method for predicting smoke movement in a corridor. However, due to the questionable nature of some of the data estimates, coupled with both a lack of sufficient number of tests and a limited range of fire sizes used, additional test data will be required to further validate the accuracy and refine the correlation(s) suggested by this work."


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Fire Protection Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





fire, full scale fire test, smoke, Smoke, Fire testing