Posted on 08/11/2018
ESFSS European Symposium on Fire Safety Science

Some 130 scientists working in fire science, in universities, technical and engineering organisations and industry, met in ENSIC (French National Higher Institute of Chemical Industries), Nancy, France, 12-14 September 2018. The conference included 35 papers and 50 posters on material and structure fire behaviour, fire and smoke dynamics, fire suppression, evacuation and wildland fires.

The keynote opening talk by Guillermo Rein, Imperial College London, underlined the importance of smouldering fires, both in nature (underground peat fires which smoulder for thousands of years) and in human installations. Smouldering fires are the main cause of home fires, causing a quarter of fire deaths. They are easy to ignite, hard to detect, generate toxic smoke (low oxygen leading to partial decomposition compounds) and can suddenly and unpredictably change to a full flaming fire. Smouldering fires pose particular risks in aircraft (in hidden volumes), in industry and storage, and in biomass and waste.

Several presentations showed work to better understand the physical and chemical processes of intumescent systems to protect steel in fires, and of flame retardant systems in polymers. Modelling these processes can enable improvement of fire protection products and better application in buildings to achieve fire safety requirements. Presentations on testing methods and modelling covered fire performance of woods and CLT (cross laminated timber) beams, vertical wall materials and wall claddings / ETICS (external thermal insulation composite system facades) / ACM (aluminium composite material) wall panels, intumescent coatings, aeronautical composites, fire and smoke development and fire extinguishing in buildings (internal and external), in tunnels and in industrial contexts, as well as wildfires. Studies presented also looked at how fire development can increase pressure in sustainable buildings (low ventilation / airtight / passive houses).

European Symposium on Fire Safety Science (ESFSS), ENSIC (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques), Nancy, France, 12-14 September 2018