Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Gary J. Morris.


The scope of this research involves the first known effort at designing a highly detailed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to characterize the flow fields with the UL Smoke Box and a spot type smoke detector within the test section of the smoke box. The proposed CFD model, designed to reflect the same measured conditions in the UL Smoke Box, was developed and validated through experimental velocity data using laser Doppler and hot-wire anemometry. With excellent qualitative comparisons between experimental and computational results, flow characterization using the laminar flow model available in the commercial software package FluentRTM was sufficiently achieved. The computational model, therefore, shows excellent promise to expedite the evolution of new smoke detector designs. In industry, this design model has the potential to provide designers good preliminary insight into how a detector design will perform prior to physical construction. Although experimental testing will always be needed, CFD can be implemented as a virtual test bed to greatly reduce the time to market from product concept to a finished product. Also, there is the possibility that a more efficient, functional smoke detector may be developed. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).