Christmas Fireside Dynamics

At Future Facilities, we hold the winter holidays near and dear to our hearts. However, the frigid temperatures that come along with these winter months could not be detested any more than in the San Jose office. So we bundled up for the 65° F (18° C) weather, loaded up the fire place, and ran a CFD simulation to figure out how to create a fire in 6SigmaRoom.  

Thankfully, CAD models for fireplaces are somewhat abundant on, but one particular model by Mehmet seemed exceptionally warm. 6SigmaRoom allowed me to easily import this fireplace, so that I had the exact dimensions needed for the design.

As the entire office became involved, the demand for stockings to hang over the fireplace grew, and so we returned to GrabCAD for another model. Our very own Product Marketing Engineer, Amy Miller, decided upon the stocking model that we would use – an exquisite interpretation of the classic holiday ornament, the Christmas Stocking Ornament by Easton Gervais.

If there’s anything I learned about CFD simulations over the course of my lifetime, it’s…

Having learned this lesson, several times the hard way, I jumped over to my favorite website,, to grab some material properties. White Oak was chosen as our firewood, as it produces a lovely aroma that anyone is sure to enjoy.

  • Thermal Conductivity = 0.22 W/(m*K)
  • Density = 720.8 kg/m3
  • Specific Heat = 2300 J/(kg*K)

We decided to use our best judgement for the stocking placement, assuming that they would not catch on fire (perhaps this should be the winter CFD simulation in 2018).

Thanks to the CAD model, the logs were created as separate entities once they were introduced into 6SigmaRoom. The logs were all set to a constant temperature of 300° C to induce some heat flow in the fireplace, and a fan was introduced in order to grow the flames and have an origin for the streamline plots. After solving with a default fan speed, all that was left to fiddle around with the Display Options of the streamline plot and the orientation of the fan to get the flame we wanted. We could rotate around the X and Y axes in order to generate a fire-like shape. While the office was split on whether to go with the ‘Blob’, ‘Dust’, or ‘Triangle’ Appearance, ‘Triangle’ was chosen as it looked “the most realistic.”

By: Max Cosculluela, Applications Engineer

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11 December, 2017

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