Flame extension lengths beneath a confined ceiling induced by fire in a channel with longitudinal air flow

Ang Qiu, Longhua Hu, LongFei Chen, Ricky O. Carvel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the length of flame extension for an impinging flame underneath the confined ceiling in a channel with longitudinal air flow. Previous works in this field have been primarily concerned with un-confined ceilings and no forced air flow conditions. Under longitudinal air flow conditions, the flame extension beneath the channel ceiling is non-symmetrical, that is, different in the upstream and downstream directions from the fire source. In this study, experiments were carried out with two channeled ceilings with widths of 1.5 m and 0.5 m. Square porous gas burners of different sizes were employed as the fire source, using propane as fuel, with various heat release rates and source-ceiling heights. The flame extension lengths beneath the ceiling, both upstream and downstream from the fire source, were measured. Their difference as well as their total length was quantified for different magnitudes of forced longitudinal air flow along the channel. Results show that the flame extension lengths beneath the ceiling increases with heat release rate, but decreases with source-ceiling height, channel width, burner size or longitudinal air flow speed. With a longitudinal air flow, the flame extension is longer downstream than upstream. Non-dimensional correlations are proposed for the flame extension lengths (upstream, downstream and their total length), based on the unburnt fuel distribution upstream and downstream, as well as considering air entrainment of the ceiling flow, which further consumes the unburnt fuel along the ceiling. These correlations are shown to fit the data well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-43
Number of pages15
JournalFire Safety Journal
Early online date14 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018


  • flame length
  • longitudinal airflow
  • Heat release rate


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