A procedure is developed to calculate the thermal response of unconfined nonburning ceilings above growing fires. The procedure uses an algorithm for conduction into the ceiling material. It takes account of heat transfer due to radiation from the combustion zone to the ceiling surface, and due to reradiation from the ceiling to the floor and furnishings. Finally, the procedure uses a previously developed algorithm for convective heat transfer to the ceiling from the fire-plume-driven ceiling jet. The procedure is used to predict radial-dependent surface temperature histories of typical ceiling materials under a variety of different realistic levels of hazardous fire energy generation rates and combustion zone-ceiling separation distances. The results give an indication of the influence of convective heat transfer on peak ceiling thermal response, losses from fire plume gases, and radial variations and peak values of ceiling-to-floor irradiation during enclosure fires.

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