Fire Safety Analysis of a Railway Compartment using Computational Fluid Dynamics

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Enbaya, Anwar ; Asim, Taimoor ; Mishra, Rakesh ; Rao, Raj B. K. N. (2015)
  • Publisher: COMADEM International
  • Subject: TJ

Trains are considered to be the safest on-land transportation means for both passengers and cargo. Train accidents have been mainly disastrous, especially in case of fire, where the consequences are extensive loss of life and goods. The fire would generate smoke and heat which would spread quickly inside the railway compartments. Both heat and smoke are the primary reasons of casualties in a train. This study has been carried out to perform numerical analysis of fire characteristics in a railway compartment using commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics code ANSYS. Non-premixed combustion model has been used to simulate a fire scenario within a railway compartment, while Shear Stress Transport k-ω turbulence model has been used to accurately predict the hot air turbulence parameters within the compartment. The walls of the compartment have been modelled as no-slip stationary adiabatic walls, as is observed in real life conditions. Carbon dioxide concentration (CO2), temperature distribution and air flow velocity within the railway compartment has been monitored. It has been observed that the smoke above the fire source flows to both sides of the compartment. The highest temperature zone is located downstream the fire source, and gradually decreases with the increase in the distance from the fire source. It can be seen that CFD can be used as an effective tool in order to analyse the evolution of fire in railway compartments with reasonable accuracy. The paper also briefly discusses the topical reliability issues.
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