What is FDS?

FDS (Fire Dynamics Simulator) and Smokeview are free and open-source software tools provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the United States Department of Commerce

As stated on the official website:

“Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of fire-driven fluid flow. The FDS software solves numerically a form of the Navier-Stokes nist-equations appropriate for low-speed, thermally-driven flow, with an emphasis on smoke and heat transport from fires.”

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Example of a FDS fire scenario rendered by Smokeview

The first version of FDS (NIST) was publicly released in February 2000.

What’s the purpose of FDS?

To date, about half of the applications of the FDS software model have been for design of smoke handling systems and sprinkler/detector activation studies. The other half consist of residential and industrial fire reconstructions.

Throughout its development, FDS has been aimed at solving practical fire problems in fire protection engineering, while at the same time providing a tool to study fundamental fire dynamics and combustion.

How does FDS work?

FDS is a program that reads input parameters from a text file, computes a numerical solution to the governing equations, and writes user-specified output data to files.

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A simple FDS input file

Smokeview is a companion program that reads FDS output files and produces animations on the computer screen.

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A Smokeview screenshot

Smokeview has a simple menu-driven interface. The FDS software doesn’t. However, there are various third-party programs that have been developed to generate the text file containing the input parameters needed by FDS.

How can I learn FDS?

Well, with fdstutorial.com, of course.

Here is a list of all our tutorials.

How can I get FDS?

FDS (NIST) is free and you can download it on the NIST official page: