12th Int Conference on Structures in Fire

 SiF 2022 @ PolyU Call for Papers

Apr 2022

The 12th International Conference on Structures in Fire (SiF 2022) will be hosted by PolyU in Hong Kong at 30 Nov - 2 Dec 2022. The conference is organised by the fire group at the Dept of Building Environment and Energy Engineering.

  • Abstract Submission: 27 May 2022

  • Abstract Results Announcement: 15 July 2022

  • Full Paper Submission: 16 Oct 2022


PolyU Subject Ranking Keeps Increasing

Apr 2022

In the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022, PolyU has attained remarkable results across different disciplines, reflecting our accomplishments in both education and research.

Our Dept. of Building Environment and Energy Engineering as well as Fire Safety Research Group mainly contribute to Architecture / Built Environment and Civil and Structural Engineering. 


 Tianhang elected as SFPE GCI Student Fellow

Apr 2022

Zhang Tianhang was elected as one of four Global Student Research Fellows of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Grand Challenges Initiative. SFPE Grand Challenges Initiative aims to identify how fire safety science and engineering can contribute to addressing pressing challenges. Tianhang will be awarded USD 5,000 to conduct independent research in the area of Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, & Cybersecurity. 


 Forecasting Flashover Using Deep Learning 

Apr 2022

People trapped in fire and firefighters are facing unknow fire risks due to the lack of fire information. This work proposed a deep learning framework to predict temperature growth and flashover in real-time. We found that the deep learning model can predict the flashover occurrence with a 20 s lead time in a 1/5 scale model. This work is led by Tianhang Zhang in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) and published in Fire Safety Journal

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Microgravity Fire Spread over Ultra-thin PE Film

Mar 2022

The fire in microgravity spacecraft environment is a big safety concern, but the fire dynamics are difficult to study on Earth. This work explores the fire spread in ultra-thin PE film in a microgravity drop tower. We found that without fuel removal by dripping, the fire in microgravity could be more dangerous. This work is in collaboration with Institute of Mechanics, CAS and published in Microgravity Science and Technology

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Comparing building facade fire standard tests
Mar 2022

The building facade system is a key part of green buildings and carbon neutrality, but its fire safety is a global problem. Many large-scale facade fire standard tests are different from country to country, and their test results are difficult to compare. This unique numerical work explores the equivalent façade fire scenarios for different standard tests. By adjusting the total fire HRR, the matching fire intensity can be achieved without setup changes. This study, led by Yizhou Li and Zilong Wang, is published in Journal of Building Engineering.

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 Smart fire detection based on the alarm sound 

Mar 2022

Nowadays the fire alarm system has been commonly installed inside buildings to produce an alarming sound in case of a fire. Such a stable and recognizable sound field inspires us if we can use it to monitor the fire development. This work was therefore carried out, which investigates using the pressure variation of the alarm sound to estimate the HRR variation of a room fire from ignition to extinction. In particular, only one microphone is required in the room for detecting the sound variation. This work is led by Dr Caiyi Xiong and published in Journal of Building Engineering.

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Flammability Database of Historical Buildings

Feb 2022

Chinese historical buildings contain massive flammables like candles and incense burners and decorate rooms with various textiles, posing a significant fire hazard. This work forms a flammability database for common fuels used in Chinese Historical Buildings that lays a foundation to quantify their fire risk. This work is led by  University of Science and Technology of China and published in Combustion Science and Technology

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 Ventilation and Limitation of Kawagoe's Law 

Feb 2022

Kawagoe’s Law is an essential correlation in compartment fire research, which defines the relationship between the ventilation factor and maximum fuel burning of the compartment. Although this law has been widely used, there is still a lack of numerical validation and knowledge on the limiting conditions of its application. This work performs a numerical study of a full-scale compartment fire to validate Kawagoe’s Law and explore the limiting conditions of applying Kawagoe’s Law. This work is led by Zilong Wang and published in Fire Technology. 

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Will concentrated sunlight ignite a fire?

Feb 2022

Concentrated sunlight is a potential ignition source of residential and wildland fires, but its ignition mechanism is still poorly understood. Our latest work cooperated with Prof. Gollner at University of California at Berkeley, and it demonstrated and quantified the smoldering ignition of tissue paper by a concentrated sunlight spot which is focused by a transparent glass sphere. This work is led by Siyan and Shaorun, and published in Fire Safety Journal.

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How to sustain a flame above smoldering?

Jan 2022

Recently, smoldering combustion became an attractive method for organic waste removal. However, as smoldering is an incomplete combustion process, the pollutions from the smoldering emissions are significant concerns. Thus, this work puts forward a novel way to clean the toxic smoldering emissions via sustaining a flame on it and explores the critical conditions for sustaining such a stable flame above smoldering wood. It is found that the critical smoldering burning rate for maintaining a stable flame remains constant at 10-12 g/m2∙s. This work is led by Yuying Chen and published in Combustion Science and Technology

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 Full-scale Fire Tests in the Underwater Tunnel 

Jan 2022

Compared with normal tunnels, underwater tunnels tend to be longer, deeper, and more enclosed, increasing the difficulty of fire protection, evacuation, and smoke extraction, whereas related full-scale fire tests and knowledge are rare. A set of fire tests were conducted in a 1:1 full-scale Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge tunnel section model to study the smoke transportation characteristics in underwater tunnels with sidewall extraction. This work is in collaboration with the Sichuan Fire Research Institute and published in Tunnelling Underground Space Technology.