C-SAFE - Complexity, Uncertainty and Counter-Intuitive Results in Multiscale Engineering Simulations of Fires and Explosions
Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute University of Uta
Last modified: October 22, 2007
The multidisciplinary C-SAFE project at Utah has been concerned with developing algorithms and software to model a wide variety of challenging physical problems related to fluid structure interaction. Some of these problems arise from the transport of hazardous materials. For example, in 2005, a truck carrying 36,000 pounds of high explosives on U.S. Route 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah, rolled over, caught fire, and within three minutes, detonated in a devastating explosion. The detonation produced a crater approximately 70 feet across by 30
feet deep, and hot metal shards from the trailer set fire to the surrounding hillsides up to a quarter mile away. We still cannot explain, exactly why the explosion had such violence. Simulations, such as those undertaken by the multidisciplinary C-SAFE team, play an important role in prevention of such accidents and involve the use of multiscale multi-physics models and innovative computational techniques on larger-scale parallel computers. An over view of the key physical insights used to reduce complexity and computational techniques will be given as well as results on a number of challenging physical problems. The results obtained are counter-intuitive and challenging with regard to the transportation of hazardous materials.
An attempt to estimate the uncertainty in such models will be made.