FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2004
Sandia establishes CRADA with FM Global
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Sandia National Laboratories’ Engineering Sciences Center, and its Fire Science and Technology Department, have established a collaborative research and development agreement (CRADA) with FM Global, a large-loss insurance company with a risk management focus.
The goal of the CRADA is to pursue research and development to reduce the consequences of adverse events such as fires. FM Global is the only large-loss insurance company to base risk decisions on engineering analysis as opposed to actuarial techniques. The umbrella CRADA sets the stage for additional progress in engineering sciences to address high consequence events.
FM Global and Sandia’s Fire Sciences Department have a common objective of preventing or reducing losses due to high-consequence fires. One of the CRADA’s initial objectives is to provide significant technical advances for the prevention and mitigation of high-consequence fires, says Louis Gritzo, Sandia’s manager for Fire Sciences.
These advances will be accomplished through gaining new, high-quality data from large fires that will be used to develop and validate computer fire models, and to develop new theories to describe fire behavior. The formulation of new theories and the development of new models will allow analysis of fire hazards and predictions of fire mitigation system performance to be performed with confidence, says Gritzo.
These advances are expected to provide measurable improvements in fire safety by decreasing fire-related losses of life and property.
“Both organizations have, or will soon have, new fire test laboratories with differing, but complementary, capabilities,” says Gritzo.
FM Global recently completed construction of a new $78 million world-class research and product-testing complex.
The company has research laboratories that include facilities for small-scale experiments, material flammability characterization, and large open-burn rooms with calorimeter vent hoods. The large burn rooms provide a quiescent environment for large fire experiments.
Sandia currently has large open-fire facilities, small-scale laboratory facilities, and enclosed large fire facilities with controlled airflow to provide highly controlled conditions. Sandia will employ its existing fire diagnostics and facilities as well as new diagnostics and new facilities included in the Thermal Test Complex presently under construction.
Experiments will serve as benchmarks for improving the knowledge of fire physics, providing validating quality data sets, and developing predictive models of fire behavior.
Both Sandia’s Fire Sciences Department and FM Global are developing new instrumentation including gauges for measuring heat transfer in very large fires. The organizations are also both developing validated computer models for prediction of fire environments. Both organizations share similar objectives, but to date have taken significantly different approaches. Cooperation between the organizations is expected to speed-up progress to meet the needs of both parties.
Sandia’s Fire Science and Technology Department is a multifaceted, multi-customer program. It includes research, development, and application activities throughout Sandia and the government.
Sandia media contact: Michael Padilla, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 284-5325
Sandia technical contact: Louis Gritzo, email@example.com, (505) 844-8353