SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1994

Critical Analysis of the OSU Room Fire Model for Simulating Corner Fires


The OSU Room Fire Model was developed by Professor Smith and several graduate students at Ohio State University between 1980 and 1987. It is one of the few models available allowing for the prediction of the contribution by wall and ceiling linings to compartment fire growth. The scenario being considered is that of a fire in a single room with a single ventilation opening. Several walls or the ceiling are covered with a combustible lining material that is exposed to a (gas burner) ignition source. Flame spread over and heat and smoke release from the lining is obtained as a function of time on the basis of calculated thermal exposure in the room and ignition, flame spread and release rate properties of the lining measured in a bench-scale test, that is, the ASTM E 906 heat release calorimeter. The poor structure of the FORTRAN source code and the lack of comprehensive documentation make it very difficult to understand the physical basis for the model. To evaluate the accuracy of the model and identify areas where the underlying physics can be improved, a modified version of the model was developed as part of a joint research program between the American Forest & Paper Association (formerly the National Forest Products Association) and the USDA Forest Products Laboratory. This paper gives an overview of the physical basis for the original OSU room fire model and describes the modified model named MOSURF (Modified OSU Room Fire). The modifications in MOSURF include conversion of the computer code to BASIC, use of SI units instead of British units, restriction to the corner configuration with a noncombustible ceiling, input data from the Cone Calorimeter (ASTM E 1354), and LIFT apparatus (ASTM E 1321), and some changes to the physics and numerical solution procedures.

Author Information

Janssens, ML
Fire Technology, American Forest & Paper Association, Washington, DC
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: E05
Pages: 169–185
DOI: 10.1520/STP12956S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5285-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1889-8