Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Safer underground metro systems possible with results from Swedish METRO project

16.01.2013
The Swedish METRO project has shown that fires in trains can be greater than previously estimated, but also that the design of trains and the choice of materials is progressing in the right direction. The outcome of the fire can be very different depending on the choice of materials as well as if the doors of the trains are open or not.
- The project is unique since many organizations, with different skills, work together to make underground metro systems all around the world safer, says Mia Kumm, one of the initiators of the project, at Mälardalen University.

Complex tunnel systems lead to increased risks of serious accidents. Severe fires in metro systems make both evacuation and fire and rescue operations difficult. How quickly the fire develops is a key factor for the available safe time for evacuation. Now the results and the recommendations from the three-year joint safety in infrastructure research project, METRO, have been published.

Some of the most important results from the research project are new new knowledge of how quickly people can be evacuated from trains in tunnels, what difficulties are encountered for people with disabilities in evacuation situations, how trains can be designed to decrease the risks of personal injury in case of explosions and what possibilities and limitations there are for fire and rescue operations.

The METRO project has shown that way-finding is very difficult in smoke-filled tunnels, but the researchers have also identified a number of way-finding systems which efficiently help people to find the right way out.
– One interesting discovery is that even simple sound based systems work better than many of the conventional visual systems used today, says Daniel Nilsson, at the Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety at Lund University.

Trains and metro carriages of today fulfill high fire safety standards, but the carried fire load – bags and luggage the passengers bring on board - can be the determinant factor for whether the fire develops into flashover or not.

– It has shown to be of great importance whether the doors of the trains are open or not and what type of interior lining material is used. Platform screen doors can have a big influence on both the fire spread and of the evacuation situation, says Professor Haukur Ingason at the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden.

In the autumn of 2011, full-scale fire tests were carried out in one of the Swedish Transport Administration’s abandoned tunnels outside the city of Arvika. In a global perspective, few full-scale tests have been carried out since they require large financial resources and a comprehensive organization. When constructing new tunnels different computer models are often used to simulate fires and smoke spread. Full-scale tests are of great importance to verify these models and make calculations more accurate.

Conclusions – in short
• Fires in trains have been found to be larger than earlier expected. When designing ventilation systems, at stations with an older rolling stock, higher design values than commonly used today needs to be counted for.
• The carried fire load can be the factor that makes the fire turn to flashover.
• Sound based way-finding systems at emergency exits can be a very effective way to guide people to the exits in smoke filled tunnels.
• Platform screen doors should be used in one-exit underground stations as a part of the technical fire safety solutions to prevent smoke spread.
• Designers should consider the risk for jammed doors in secondary carriages due to explosion.
• New search patterns and interpretation of IR-imaging in tunnels should be developed for the rescue services.

Questions about the project
Mia Kumm, Project secretary, Mälardalen University: +46 21-10 70 29,
+46 70-330 30 90, e-mail: maria.kumm@mdh.se

Haukur Ingason, Project leader, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden: +46 10-516 51 97

Daniel Nilsson, Assistant project leader, Lund University: +46 46-222 95 93
About the METRO-project

The METRO project is a large research venture dealing with fire and safety in underground mass transport systems, mainly underground railways. METRO is led from Mälardalen University and comprises over 14 million SEK, with a supplementary project of 4.8 million SEK, led by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden. In METRO, researchers cooperate interdisciplinary across organizational boundaries. The research findings will improve safety in underground rail systems, but the knowledge will be able to be used in many different kinds of underground installations.

Participating in the project is: Mälardalen University, Lund University, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, FOI (the Swedish Defense Research Agency), Gävle University, the Swedish National Defense College, the Swedish Fortifications Agency, The Greater Stockholm Fire Brigade and SL (Stockholm Public Transport).

The project is funded by: SL, The Swedish Research Council Formas, the Swedish Fire Research Board, the Swedish Transport Administration, MSB (the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency) and the Swedish Fortifications Agency.

Background to fires in tunnels
What burns in tunnels is, in most cases, one or more vehicles of some kind. The special thing about tunnels is partly the ceiling, and partly the tunnel itself. The ceiling causes the flames to deflect and the flames, fumes and the ceiling heat radiate towards people and various objects in the tunnel. The hot and poisonous fumes move along the tunnel, thus constituting a great hazard to people who are in the tunnel or at nearby stations under ground level. The fire also spreads more easily to nearby vehicles, thereby increasing in intensity much quicker than out in the open.

Source: Anders Lönnermark, SP

Sofia Norling | idw
Further information:
http://www.mdh.se/aktuellt/dokument
http://www.metroproject.se/

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

What are the effects of coral reef marine protected areas?

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

The Janus head of the South Asian monsoon

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>