Optifum: towards innovative products for fire safety

With the growth of the wood-energy sector, whose activity has doubled over the past ten years, the optimization of smoke extraction ducts is a major issue in fire safety. Poujoulat, a specialist in chimney flues, has been collaborating since 2012 with the Pprime1 Institute on research topics concerning fire safety. The partners decided to strengthen and perpetuate their cooperation by creating the Optifum joint laboratory, supported by the National Research Agency (ANR). The heterogeneous Combustion team of the Pprime Institute and the Ceric laboratory (Research center for chimney industries research) in Poujoulat will work on two scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: a fire breaks out in the room where the chimney flue is located and it must be avoided that this is a vector of transmission of fire to adjacent rooms. The studies will endeavor to assess the structural behavior of the duct and the transmission of the heat released by the incident via the duct.
  • Scenario 2: a fire breaks out in the duct itself and the fire should not spread outside. Since fire is associated with thermal decomposition and then with the ignition of deposits accumulated within the duct, the aim will be to characterize these deposits with precision, as well as the characteristics of the fire that they can generate.

Poujoulat and the Pprime Institute will pool experimental resources and strengthen the sharing of their expertise. Test benches will also be co-developed by the partners. Experimental studies will characterize the flammability of deposits in conduits and better understand the mechanisms that come into play during a fire. These results will lead to the development of two numerical models. One will model overheating and heat transfer, while the other will simulate the formation of deposits within the duct and their combustion. These digital models can then be used by Poujoulat to improve its current product ranges and create innovative products targeting new markets. A doctoral student has already been recruited, in particular thanks to additional support from the New Aquitaine region.

« For the Pprime Institute, the studies carried out in the joint laboratory are an opportunity to tackle themes that have received little attention from research in general, in particular on deposits in heating systems. It is also an opportunity to develop new expertise applicable to other areas of research, ”said Thomas Rogaume, researcher at the Pprime institute and director of the Optifum laboratory. This work will give rise to scientific communications and publications. In total, around fifteen researchers and engineers from the Pprime Institute and Poujoulat will be involved in the projects of the joint laboratory.


Institut Pprime : research and engineering in materials, mechanics and energy (CNRS)

Contacts :

Thomas Rogaume / Researcher at the Pprime Institute and Director of the Optifum joint laboratory / thomas.rogaume@univ-poitiers.fr

Lionel Druette / Director of the Research Center for the Chimney Industries and Deputy Director of the Optifum Joint Laboratory / l.druette@laboratoire-ceric.com


Source sur le site du CNRS