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: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>