Tunnel Fires: Experiments on Critical Velocity and Burning Rate in Pool Fire During Longitudinal Ventilation

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In this study, the 1/20 reduced-scale experiments using Froude scaling are conducted to investigate the effect of longitudinal ventilation velocity on the burning rate in tunnel fires. The methanol pool fires, acetone pool fires, and n-heptane pool fires with a heat release rate ranging from 2.02 to ~6.15 kW, 2.76 to ~11.04 kW, and 2.23 to ~15.6 kW, respectively, are used. A load cell is used to measure the mass loss rate of the burning fuel and the temperature distributions are measured by K-type thermocouples in order to investigate smoke movement. The ventilation velocity in the reduced-scale tunnel is controlled by the wind tunnel through an inverter. In the case of a methanol pool fire, the increase in ventilation velocity reduces the burning rate. On the contrary, for acetone and n-heptane pool fires, the increase in ventilation velocity leads to the enhanced burning rate of fuels. The reason is that, for acetone and n-heptane pool fires, the oxygen supply effect prevails rather than the cooling effects as the ventilation velocity increases. However, for a methanol pool fire the cooling effect outweighs the effects of oxygen supply.

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