Data Structures and Reduction Techniques for Fire Tests
Thesis DisciplineFire Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering in Fire Engineering
To perform fire engineering analysis, data on how an object or group of objects burn is almost always needed. This data should be collected and stored in a logical and complete fashion to allow for meaningful analysis later. This thesis details the design of a new fire test Data Base Management System (DBMS) termed UCFIRE which was built to overcome the limitations of existing fire test DBMS and was based primarily on the FDMS 2.0 and FIREBASEXML specifications. The UCFIRE DBMS is currently the most comprehensive and extensible DBMS available in the fire engineering community and can store the following test types: Cone Calorimeter, Furniture Calorimeter, Room/Corner Test, LIFT and Ignitability Apparatus Tests. Any data reduction which is performed on this fire test data should be done in an entirely mechanistic fashion rather than rely on human intuition which is subjective. Currently no other DBMS allows for the semi-automation of the data reduction process. A number of pertinent data reduction algorithms were investigated and incorporated into the UCFIRE DBMS. An ASP.NET Web Service (WEBFIRE) was built to reduce the bandwidth required to exchange fire test information between the UCFIRE DBMS and a UCFIRE document stored on a web server. A number of Mass Loss Rate (MLR) algorithms were investigated and it was found that the Savitzky-Golay filtering algorithm offered the best performance. This algorithm had to be further modified to autonomously filter other noisy events that occurred during the fire tests. This algorithm was then evaluated on test data from exemplar Furniture Calorimeter and Cone Calorimeter tests. The LIFT test standard (ASTM E 1321-97a) requires its ignition and flame spread data to be scrutinised but does not state how to do this. To meet these requirements the fundamentals of linear regression were reviewed and an algorithm to mechanistically scrutinise ignition and flame spread data was developed. This algorithm seemed to produce reasonable results when used on exemplar ignition and flame spread test data.