Evaluating the combustion and flame extension characteristics of cable fire in utility tunnels with spontaneous combustion scenarios: An experimental study

Journal article


Xu, D., Li, Y., Li, J., Zhong, H., Li, J., Tu, D. and Huang, Y. (2023). Evaluating the combustion and flame extension characteristics of cable fire in utility tunnels with spontaneous combustion scenarios: An experimental study. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. 140, p. 105244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2023.105244
AuthorsXu, D., Li, Y., Li, J., Zhong, H., Li, J., Tu, D. and Huang, Y.
Abstract

A cable fire in a utility tunnel can cause severe damage to the electric power supply in cities. This study aims to understand the combustion and flame spread characteristics of cable fires, which are mainly caused by overheating from the excessive current at the interconnections of the cables under spontaneous combustion. Fire experiments were conducted in a 1:6 scale model of a utility tunnel to analyse the flame spread characteristics under different heat release rates (HRRs), vertical distances, and transverse distances. The findings of this study show that the total burning time of the cable fire increases as the cable diameter increases, and the HRR also shows an increasing trend. Additionally, the spatial location of the cable fire has a significant impact on the flame spread. The terms Hc* and Dc* are defined to characterize the flame height and a general prediction model of the dimensionless flame height influenced by cable spontaneous combustion is proposed. A dimensionless model is also established to describe the flame spread rate. This research provides valuable guidance to aid in the development of fire safety measures in utility tunnels.

Year2023
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Journal citation140, p. 105244
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0886-7798
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2023.105244
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2023.105244
Publication dates
Online16 Jun 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted04 Jun 2023
Deposited26 Feb 2024
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
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