With vehicles frequently found in underground mines and tyres being a major fuel item, the risk of tyre fires will be severe underground. This study presents an in-depth analysis of tyre fires on mining vehicles to increase the knowledge of the risk, applying data from full-scale fire experiments and CFD simulations. It was found that the wheelhouse of the loader caused an increase in the flame tilt angle of approximately 10%, decreasing the flame impingement and heat flux downstream. The flame temperature of the drilling rig tyre was found to be approximately 7% higher than the loader tyre, increasing the risk of igniting adjacent fuel items. The construction of the wheelhouse/mudguard will contribute to a longer flame length by creating a fuel-rich environment. The CFD simulations predicted higher flame tilt angles for the drilling rig case for higher flow velocities, indicating the influence of a varying wheelhouse/mudguard construction and tyre geometry on the flame tilt angle. The construction of the loader resulted in a flow behaviour, where the short distance to the front mudguard/tyre and the separation of flow directly downstream of the protruding construction led to fire gases being steered past the front mudguard/tyre. In the drilling rig case, the longer distance to the front mudguard/tyre led to fire gases being directed towards the body of the vehicle after passing the area with flow separation. An increased knowledge of the tyre fire risk on mining vehicles and mitigating measures would improve the fire safety in underground mines.
Last Updated: 24/05/2022 03:10:37pm