Wind tunnel tests on compartment fires with crossflow ventilation

H. X. Chen, N. A. Liu, Wan Ki Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


When a fire occurs in a room at ground level or a compartment located in the higher floors of a very tall building, the strong ambient wind will play an important role in fire spreading and smoke movement behavior. However, wind effect on compartment fire in cross ventilation condition has not been fully studied so far. In the present study, an effort has been made to study the wind effect on compartment fire in cross ventilation condition through experimental investigations. The experimental fire was generated by 250ml n-heptane on the floor center of a cube enclosure with two opposite vents on the walls. The inside and outside gas temperature profiles at different vertical and horizontal locations were recorded by two thermocouple matrixes. The ambient wind velocity was set to 0, 1.5 and 3ms-1. It is observed that the ambient wind would enhance the fire severity by increasing the compartment fire temperature and reducing the time to flashover. The spilled-out flame/plume would extend horizontally farther with the increase of wind speed. Simple theoretical analysis shows that there is a critical wind velocity, or a dimensional number, to differentiate whether the gas flow across the vents is bidirectional or unidirectional, which is believed to influence enclosure fire behavior greatly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1035
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • Compartment fire
  • Cross ventilation
  • Wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Wind tunnel tests on compartment fires with crossflow ventilation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this