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FAQ: What happened to the surface database?


Charlie Thornton:
In PyroSim 2006 (FDS4) there was a surface database including things like spruce, steel, concrete, etc.  I can't find a similar database in PyroSim 2007 (FDS5).  What happened?

Charlie Thornton:
The FDS developers made a conscious choice to remove material and reaction data from version 5.  Many of the materials in FDS 4 were simply examples with no real validation, and they were worried that users were applying them without understanding the assumptions involved.

If you know what's going on and you understand that nobody endorses or supports the original material database in any way, you can convert the old materials for use with PyroSim 2007:
1. Open you old library file using the File->Import FDS option in PyroSim 2007. ( is still included in the PyroSim distribution)
2. You will receive conversion warning messages depending on what is converted and what properties are defined.  Because of the change in material and reaction models between FDS 4 and FDS 5, you should review these carefully and edit the imported data appropriately for use with FDS 5.
3. Use the Model->Edit Libraries to save the imported objects into a library file for use with PyroSim 2007.

NIST is currently trying to standardize techniques for gathering material data.  It may be some time before an official database of materials exists.  There are a couple posts on the FDS users forum that you may find useful:

- Charlie


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