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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Oct 15;13(10). pii: E1014.

Study on the Fire Damage Characteristics of the New Qidaoliang Highway Tunnel: Field Investigation with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Back Analysis.

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School of Highway, Chang'an University, Xi'an 710000, China.
Fujian Communications Planning and Design Institute, Fuzhou 350000, China.
School of Highway, Chang'an University, Xi'an 710000, China.


In the New Qidaoliang Tunnel (China), a rear-end collision of two tanker trunks caused a fire. To understand the damage characteristics of the tunnel lining structure, in situ investigation was performed. The results show that the fire in the tunnel induced spallation of tunnel lining concrete covering 856 m³; the length of road surface damage reached 650 m; the sectional area had a maximum 4% increase, and the mechanical and electrical facilities were severely damaged. The maximum area loss happened at the fire spot with maximum observed concrete spallation up to a thickness of 35.4 cm. The strength of vault and side wall concrete near the fire source was significantly reduced. The loss of concrete strength of the side wall near the inner surface of tunnel was larger than that near the surrounding rock. In order to perform back analysis of the effect of thermal load on lining structure, simplified numerical simulation using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was also performed, repeating the fire scenario. The simulated results showed that from the fire breaking out to the point of becoming steady, the tunnel experienced processes of small-scale warming, swirl around fire, backflow, and longitudinal turbulent flow. The influence range of the tunnel internal temperature on the longitudinal downstream was far greater than on the upstream, while the high temperature upstream and downstream of the transverse fire source mainly centered on the vault or the higher vault waist. The temperature of each part of the tunnel near the fire source had no obvious stratification phenomenon. The temperature of the vault lining upstream and downstream near the fire source was the highest. The numerical simulation is found to be in good agreement with the field observations.


CFD; damage characteristics; fire; numerical simulation; tunnel engineering

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