• IFRF – Past, Present and Future: 70 years of the International Flame Research Foundation

  • Authors: Philip Sharman
  • Publication date:

    October 2017


IFRF was founded as a result of international cooperation in the late 1940s around a semi-industrial scale experimental furnace being constructed by Royal Dutch Iron and Steel at IJmuiden in the Netherlands. The Research Station was constructed in the mid-1950s on the property of KNHS-Hoogovens-Corus, where it remained until a new agreement with ENEL and the University of Pisa relocated the organisation to Italy in 2006. From the time of its founding as a laboratory in which combustion and heat transfer concepts were developed and tested for industrial application, IFRF has cooperated with academic and industrial organisations to further develop the understanding of turbulent flame phenomena. Over time, IFRF grew in capacity and complexity to meet the needs of its members, undertaking communication and networking functions as well as research. Fifty years on, IFRF moved to Livorno in Italy. By this time the suite of services had expanded to include an online technical journal, an information archive of reports, books and proceedings, a combustion handbook and a regular e-newsletter, all focused around the needs of around 90 industrial and 40 academic organisational members. With realignment of ENEL’s activities, 2017 saw IFRF – now approaching 70 – moving to the UK, hosted by the University of Sheffield, with research undertaken in partnership with the ‘PACT Facilities’, where a wide range of pilot-scale facilities enable IFRF to continue its mission and broaden its membership and area of technical application.