Axair Turn Up the Heat on Fire Protection

Our Spanish manufacturing partner are intensifying their research into fire protection methods with the continued testing of advanced smoke extraction systems. Sodeca are a world leader in this area, with an extensive Research & Development Department, committed to developing forward thinking products that are rigorously tested, in real life situations.

In one of their most pioneering tests to date, they recently carried out an experiment to assess the effectiveness of different ventilation strategies at the Murcia Centre for Metal Technology, which is close to the Sodeca headquarters in Barcelona. Taking place in their atrium test facility, it also allowed for further investigation into the behaviour of flames and smoke in atrium environments.

Helped by the pyramidal raised roof, a seven metre high flame was
created in the test facility, which at 20m x 20m x 20m, is roughly the volume of a one-storey indoor car park and is constructed from thick steel sheeting.  Through the use of high precision instrumentation and sensors, the researchers analysed conditions in the atrium, measuring gas concentrations and temperatures. Four smoke extraction fans were fitted on the roof of the facility; also equipped with sensors to measure fan performance and the mass and volume flow rate evacuated. In total, 60 sensors were installed in the area, along with a number of load cells to estimate the burning rate and consequent HRR (Heat Release Rate).

This was a unique experiment, as fires of this intensity are not often tested in full-scale, enclosed environments. Axair invested heavily in developing products for atrium-type constructions and other large open spaces that are vulnerable to fires that can sweep through areas without obstruction from architectural barriers. The results of the test will play a vital role in educating the international engineering community and shaping future developments in fire protection, allowing for significant recommendations to be made and criteria proposed.

Axair works closely with clients when developing ventilation and extraction systems, studying each project individually, and liaising with installers, builders and engineers to create the most effective system. This often involves the undertaking of complete technical area studies, including sizing calculations and drawings, as well as the creation of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations to show various operating parameters such as smoke behaviour, temperature values and visibility. Once installation is complete, they can also carry out specific checks to ensure that the system gains local authority approval.

Through our partnership with our innovative supplier partners, not only do we offer a complete range of fans for emergency smoke extraction, escape route pressurisation and car park ventilation, we can also provide a complete design service to ensure that you get an all-encompassing, bespoke system.

For more information, contact one of our engineers now.


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