Fire safety engineering and Structural fire resistance (1° MOD)
cod. 1006375

Academic year 2019/20
2° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Fisica tecnica industriale (ING-IND/10)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
24 hours
of face-to-face activities
3 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course the student will learn the basic principles of the engineering approach applied to fire safety design.
He must also acquire knowledge of
numerical codes used in fire safety design fire on the basis of the engineering approach.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
The student will be able to deal with a design study case using the
engineering approach to fire safety and in particular to the use of
numerical codes accredited in this field.
Making judgments:
By the end of the course the student will have the tools to critically evaluate the design choices in the field of fire safety design.
Communication skills:Through the frontal lessons and the assistance of the teacher, the student acquires the specific vocabulary inherent to fire safety engineering. The student must possess the ability to present clearly the procedure
adopted in the assessment of the fire safety of a compartment on the
basis of the engineering approach including the use of codes of
simulation / visualization of the fire dynamics.
Learning skills: The student who has attended the course will be able to deepen his knowledge of fire safety engineering through the autonomous consultation of national and international regulations, specialized books, scientific or divulgative journals, even outside the topics explained during lectures, also in view of the entrance in a job environment or in a third level course.


To follow the course with profit requires knowledge of the basic concepts
of Applied Physics. It is also useful to have familiarity with the basic
features of Microsoft Excel. In any case, there are no mandatory propedeuticities.

Course unit content

The course aims to provide the students with the general criteria for handling fire safety design under the engineering approach. The course is divided into two parts: a theoretical part and a laboratory activity part. The theoretical part covers the following topics: Performance based approach to fire safety engineering. Regulatory national and international reference. The process of
combustion. Energy balance of a fuel and Heat Release Rate.
Natural fire: the plume of smoke and fire. Parametric models. Fire resistance
of structures. Nominal fire curves. Production and dynamics of the combustion gas products. Numerical analysis applied to the thermal fluid dynamics and modeling of thermal stress of structures in case of fire. The activities carried out in
computer lab, focused on case studies, is aimed at the acquisition of the fundamental elements for the use of simulation tools
in fire design.

Full programme

Regulatory and engineering approach to fire design:
national and international regulatory framework of reference, the DM May
9, 2007, ISO / TR 13387, stages of fire growth, the condition of flashover,
the fire load and specific design fire load.
Thermodynamics of combustion:
combustion process, combustion byproducts, amount of oxygen
consumed, theoretical air of combustion, stoichiometric concentration,
ventilation ratio, over ventilated and underventilated conditions.
Energy balance of the flame: enthalpy of combustion, adiabatic
combustion temperature, minimum energy energy, extinguishing agents,
Classification of the flames: the limits of flammability and premixed
flames, measurement of flammability limits, flammability diagrams,
diffusive flames, laminar and turbulent jet flames.
Regimes of burning: RHR, rate of burning, the pool fire, the alpha t-squared
model, fire development.
Natural fire: the flame height, the plume of smoke and fire, the ideal
model of the plume, the Zukoski model, the Heskestad model, the
Thomas model The model of The, the McCaffrey model The model of The
, Production and dynamics of the smoke produced by the fire,
Fire resistance of structures: the nominal fire curves, application
examples, passive protection of structures.
Numerical analysis applied to the thermo fluid dynamics of the fire: The
zone models and field models, C-Fast, FDS.
The exercise activities carried out in the computer lab, focused on case
studies, are aimed at the acquisition of the fundamental elements for the
use of CFD codes for fire simulation and fire safety design.


The notes of the lectures and all the supporting material are made available to students and shared in PDF format on Elly platform. In addition to the shared material, the student can personally study some of the topics discussed during the course in the following books: INGEGNERIA DELLA SICUREZZA ANTINCENDIO, Antonio La Malfa Case
Editrice "Lagislazione Tecnica Editrice" di Roma
An Introduction to Fire Dynamics, by D. Drysdale, John Wiley Edition.

Teaching methods

The course counts 3 CFUs (one CFU, University Credits equals one ECTS credit and represents the workload of a student during educational activities aimed at passing the exams), which corresponds to 24 hours of lectures. The didactic activities are composed of frontal lessons (16 hours) coupled with exercises (8 hours) . During the frontal lessons, the course topics are proposed from the theoretical and design point of view by means of slide presentations. The part devoted to the lab training includes lessons in the computer lab aimed at the simulation – under the simplified zone model of C-Fast- of the dynamics of combustion for
some representative fire scenarios of practical interest. Each tutorial provides an
introduction to the case study, an activity carried out independently by
the students, followed by an elaboration and discussion of results.

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination is based on a oral discussion on a project work assigned at the end of the course in agreement with the other teacher. The examination is weighted as follows: KNOWLEDGE (theoretical questions and proper analysis and discussion of the case study max 18 points); COMMUNICATION SKILLS (proper knowledge of the scintific language in the field - max 3 points); MAKING JUDGEMENTS (design choices - max 9 points).
The test is exceeded if it reaches a score of at least 18 points. The “30 cum laude” score is given to students who achieve the highest score on each item and use precise vocabulary.

Other information

Lecture attendance is highly recommended.