NCHRP Synthesis 415: Design Fires in Road Tunnels
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NCHRP Synthesis 415:
Design Fires in Road Tunnels
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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 415: Design Fires in Road Tunnels information on the state of the practice of design fires in road tunnels, focusing on tunnel fire dynamics and the means of fire management for design guidance.

Note: On September 20, 2011, the following errata was released related to NCHRP Synthesis 415. The electronic version of the publicaiton was changed to reflect the corrections.

On pages 106 and 107, an incorrect reference was cited. In the final paragraph on page 106, the last sentence should read: One study came to the conclusion that, although some minimum water application rates would achieve a certain objective, a marginally higher rate would not necessarily improve the situation (79). The figure caption for Figure 35 at the bottom of page 107 should read: FIGURE 35 NFPA 13, NFPA 15, and other International Water Application Rates (79).

The added reference is as follows:

79. Harris, K., "Water Application Rates for Fixed Fire Fighting Systems in Road Tunnels," Proceedings from the Fourth International Symposium on Tunnel Safety and Security, A. Lönnermark and H. Ingason, Eds., Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Mar. 17â€"19, 2010.


Publication Info

199 pages | 8.5 x 11

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-x
Summary 1-5
Project Overview 6-6
Description of the Survey Process 7-8
Prevention of Tunnel Highway Fires 9-9
Making Transportation Tunnels Safe and Secure 10-10
UPTUN - Summary 11-11
SafeT 12-12
Safe Tunnel 13-13
Summary 15-15
Heat Effects 16-16
Air Carbon Monoxide Content 17-17
Air Velocities 18-18
Summary 19-19
Cause of Vehicular Fires in Road Tunnels 20-22
Consequences of Tunnel Fires 23-23
Summary 24-25
Combined Use for Road and Railway Vehicles 26-27
Full Scale Tests 28-34
Small-Scale Testing (Physical Modeling) 35-35
Large-Scale Experimental Facilities 36-36
Gaps in Fire Testing, Modeling Limitations, and Computational Fluid Dynamics Verifications 37-37
Summary 38-39
Chapter Seven - Analytical Fire Modeling - Literature Review 40-40
Analytical (Numerical) Fire Modeling Technique 41-42
Findings on Numerical Modeling Based on Literature Review 43-43
Summary 44-44
Severity of Tunnel Fires 45-45
Existing Practice of Fire Management in Road Tunnels 46-46
Best Design Practice 47-47
Maintenance, Repair, and Rehabilitation of the Fire Management Systems 48-48
Selected Important Examples 49-49
Computer-Based Training Tools for Operators to Manage Fire - Virtual Training 50-52
Background 53-54
Integrated Approach to Safety in Tunnels 55-56
Design Fire Size 57-58
Exploring the Emerging Issues of Alternative Fuel Vehicles on Design Fires 59-63
Fire Smoke and Smoke Production - Literature Review 64-67
Temperature of Fire Gases and Tunnel Walls 68-69
Fire Development Based on Literature Review 70-74
Summary 75-77
Chapter Ten - Compilation of Design Guidance, Standards, and Regulations 78-81
Tunnel Ventilation and International Standards Requirements 82-88
Tunnel Fire Detection, Notification, and International Standards Requirements 89-91
Tunnel Egress and International Standards Requirements 92-92
Tunnel Incident Response and International Standards Requirements 93-94
Summary 95-95
TimeTemperature and Time-of-Tenability Curves 96-98
Emergency Egress Timeline 99-100
Combined Curve for Evacuation and System Activation 101-101
Summary 102-103
Background 104-109
Summary 110-110
Influence of Ventilation on Fire Heat Release Rate 111-111
Influence of Structural and Nonstructural Components on Fire Heat Release Rate 112-112
Summary 113-113
Example of Design Fire Size Estimate 114-115
Chapter Fourteen - Conclusions 116-122
References 123-125
Bibliography 126-128
Glossary 129-129
Appendix A - Survey Questionnaire 130-135
Appendix B - List of Responding Agencies 136-136
Appendix C - Summary of Survey Questionnaire Responses 137-149
Appendix D - Tunnel Safety Projects Additional Descriptions 150-155
Appendix E - Fire Tests 156-159
Appendix F - Comparison of National and International Standards Requirements 160-177
Appendix G - Past Tunnel Fires Description 178-188
Abbreviations used without definitions in TRB publications 189-189

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