Influence of Ventilation Tube Rupture from Fires on Gas Distribution in Tunnel

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1 Available online at Procedia Engineering 26 (211) First International Symposium on Mine Safety Science and Engineering Influence of Ventilation Tube Rupture from Fires on Gas Distribution in Tunnel LI Kun a,b, DING Cui a,c, YOU Changfu b a China Academy of Safety Science and Technology, Beijing 112, China. b Tinghua Universty, Beijing 184, China c China University of Mining and Technology(Beijing), Beijing 183, China Abstract The ventilation tube was an important equipment in tunnels. Although the ventilation tube used in most coal mines was hard to ignite, it can be destroyed by fires. Based on numerical simulation methods, the influence of ventilation tube rupture locations on gas distribution has been investigated when fires happen. The results show that when the ventilation tube ruptured, the flow rate of the ventilation tube increased as the distance between the rupture location and the tunnel end increasing. In addition, when the distance increased to a certain value, the second vortex appears but its scale decreased as the fire intensity increasing. When at the same rupture location, the maximum gas concentration increased first and then decreased as the fire intensity increasing. When the ventilation tube ruptured, the coal gas distribution shows an up-down left-right - uniform pattern from the tunnel end to the outlet, and whether the second vortex appeared or not is a critical factor on deciding the detailed gas distribution in the former part of the tunnel. 211 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of China Academy of Safety Science and Technology, China University of Mining and Technology(Beijing), McGill University and University of Wollongong. Keywords: tunnel; ventilation tube rupture location; gas accumulation; fire 1. Introduction Fire disasters happened frequently in tunnels, so it has been researched for quite a long time and many achievements have been obtained. Some researches focused on analyzing the influence of fire on ventilation resistance in tunnels [1-2], and some other researches were trying to find the flow patterns of gas produced by fire in tunnels [3-4]. Moreover, some researchers have studied the coal gas LI Kun. Phone: / ; Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:1.116/j.proeng Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.

2 LI Kun et al. / Procedia Engineering 26 (211) distribution in tunnels, but their studies were mostly concentrated the situations in horizontal tunnels and without the fire [5]. In recent several years, the influence of fan failure [6] and abnormal gas emission on gas accumulation in tunnel have also been researched [7-8], and they found that with the time going on after the fan failure, the coal gas accumulated in the tunnel and the concentration increased rapidly. However, the influence of ventilation tube rupture locations on gas accumulation has not been reported. It is known that the ventilation tube is an essential equipment in tunnels, so it may induce to great change of the mixing process of the air and the coal gas when the ventilation tube were destroyed. Therefore, to investigate how the ventilation tube rupture location influenced the gas distribution is quite important and meaningful. The results of this research may provide basis to further study the secondary catastrophes such as gas explosion in tunnels. 2. Numerical model The physical model as shown in Fig.1 was established based on the real coal mine tunnel. The tunnel was 1 m long and the dimension of the rectangular cross section was 2.5 m 1.8 m. The dimension of the ventilation tube was.4 m.4 m, and when the tube was in normal condition, the distance between the outlet and the tunnel end was 4 m. The fire was set as a cubic volume and the length is assumed as 2 m, and the height was set to be 1.8 m [9]. When developed the mathematical model, some assumptions were made. The tunnel wall was supposed to be adiabatic and the fire was simplified as a steady volume releasing heat [1]. The standard κ-εmodel was used to simulate the turbulent flow process. In addition, when fire happened, the density of the heated air flow would change, so the influence of gravity on flow process was considered in the simulation. The boundaries of the model were set as follows: the air inlet was set as a draught fan and the outlet of the tunnel was set as a pressure outlet and the coal gas from the tunnel end was released at a constant flow rate. The initial flow rate of coal gas released from the tunnel end was set to be 1 m 3 /min, and the initial relative pressure of the ventilation tube inlet was set to be 593 Pa. The distance between the ventilation tube rupture position and the tunnel end was set to be 3 m (x=3), 5 m (x=5), 7 m (x=7), respectively and because the tube was destroyed by fires, so the fire as shown in Fig.1 was supposed to be under the position of ventilation tube rupture. Based on the model above, the influence of ventilation tube rupture position on the flow rate, the flow field and the coal gas distribution in tunnels was investigated when the fire intensity was, 2, 4, 6, 8, 1 kw respectively. Fig.1 Tunnel model

3 1442 LI Kun et al. / Procedia Engineering 26 (211) Results and analysis In this research, the change of the coal gas distribution in tunnels was mainly resulted from the fire and the ventilation tube rupture. It has been reported in previous researches [11,12] that when the ventilation tube in normal conditions, the fire intensity and fire locations would not induce to obvious change of the gas distribution in tunnels. However, when the ventilation tube ruptured, due to the change of the ventilation resistance and the distance between the tube outlet and the tunnel end, the flow field in the tunnel changed and the gas distribution was influenced then. In addition, when the ventilation tube ruptured, the fire itself would had impacts on the flow field and the coal gas concentration. 3.1 Influence of ventilation tube rupture on flow rate When the ventilation tube was destroyed by the fire, due to chance of the tube length, the ventilation resistance changed. It is known that the flow rate in the tube is depending on the draught fan, so the flow rate will change when the ventilation tube ruptured. Moreover, the flow rate will also be influenced by the fire intensity because of the throttling effect of the fire. 4.8 Flow rate/kg/s Fig.2 the relations between the flow rate, the fire intensity and the tube rupture locations As shown in Fig.2, it can be found that for the same rupture location, the flow rate decreased as the fire intensity increasing and this may be caused by the fire throttling effect. Furthermore, as the distance X between the rupture location and the tunnel end increased, the slope of the flow rate increasing line decreased. While at the same fire intensity, the flow rate in the ventilation tube increased as the distance X increasing, and the slope also increased. This phenomenon can be explained as follows: as the distance X increased, the flow resistance of the ventilation tube decreased, so the outlet pressure of the draught fan changed and induced to the change of the flow rate. 3.2 Influence of ventilation tube rupture on flow field The ventilation in excavation tunnel is a typical restricted jet flow and the it can only reach a certain range. Because of the ventilation tube rupture, the distance between the ventilation tube outlet and the tunnel end increased, so the flow field in the tunnel would change. Moreover, the flow field was also influenced by the fire itself duo the buoyancy and throttling effect. Figure 3 shows the flow velocity distribution in the X direction at different fire intensities and ventilation tube rupture locations.

4 LI Kun et al. / Procedia Engineering 26 (211) X Velocity/m/s X Velocity/m/s x=3 m x=5 m X Velocity/m/s x=7 m Fig.3 the velocity distribution in x direction at different fire intensities and rupture locations (y=1.6 m, z=.2 m) When the fire intensity was kw, it can be found that in the region ahead of the ventilation tube, when the distance X became bigger than a certain value, the air velocity along x direction is positive. Moreover, the scale with positive x velocity increased as the distance X increasing. This phenomenon showed that duo to the rupture of the ventilation tube, the second vortex turned up in the region near the tunnel end and its scale increased as the distance between the tube outlet and the tunnel end increasing. However, for the same rupture location, with the fire intensity increasing, the area with positive x velocity decreased which meant that the scope influenced by the second vortex also decreased. The reasons may be as follows: according to the above, the fire source was just under the ventilation tube outlet, and due to the heating and buoyancy effect, the air may be accelerated and had a bigger jet range. Because the second vortex would greatly change the flow field in the tunnel, so the coal gas distribution could be influenced and will be analyzed in the following part. 3.3 Influence of ventilation tube rupture on gas distribution The coal gas distribution in the tunnel had a close relation with the maximum gas concentration, so the relations among the maximum gas concentration, fire intensity and the rupture location as shown in Fig.4 were presented firstly.

5 1444 LI Kun et al. / Procedia Engineering 26 (211) Maximum Gas Concentration/% Rupture Location/m x=3 x=5 x= Fire Intesity/kW Fig.4 the maximum gas concentration at different fire intensities and rupture locations When at the same fire intensity, it can be found from Fig.4 that the maximum gas concentration in the tunnel increased as the distance X increasing. This is because that as the distance X between the tube outlet and the tunnel end increased, the air flow could not reach the tunnel end and the coal gas accumulated in the former part the tunnel. When at the same rupture location, the maximum gas concentration increased first and then decreased as the fire intensity increasing. In addition, at different rupture locations, the fire intensities induced to the turning point of the curve are different. The reasons can be explained from the velocity distribution shown in Fig.3. When at the rupture location x=3 m, the second vortex did not turn up at all fire intensities, so basically the maximum gas concentration is depending on the flow rate. Due to the heating and buoyancy effect of the fire, more volume of air were pumped to the tunnel end and induced to the declining of the maximum gas concentration in the tunnel. When at the rupture location x=5 m, the second vortex turned up at kw and 4 kw. Moreover, as shown in Fig.3, when the fire intensity was 4 kw, the velocity at the turning point between the positive and negative velocity was much lower, which meant the volume flow rate of the air reaching the tunnel end was less, so the maximum gas concentration at 4 kw is higher than that at kw. However, when the fire intensity was larger than 4 kw, there was no second vortex in the tunnel, so the change of the maximum gas concentration with the fire intensity was the same as that when at the rupture location x=3m. As to the rupture location x=7 m, it can be explained as above. Therefore, based on the analysis above, it can be concluded that the second vortex is an important factor influencing the gas distribution in the tunnel. x=3 m

6 LI Kun et al. / Procedia Engineering 26 (211) x=5 m x=7 m Fig.5 Gas distribution in the tunnel at different rupture locations To further study the influence of different rupture locations on gas accumulation, when the fire intensity is 1 kw, the gas distribution as shown in Fig.5 at three different rupture locations was investigated. It can be found that for any rupture location, the gas distributions were similar. From the tunnel end to the tunnel outlet, the gas concentration showed an up-down - left-right - uniform distribution. In addition, in the up-down region, the gas concentration was higher near the floor and lower on the right side in the left-right region. From Fig.3, it is known that when the fire intensity is 1 kw, the second vortex did not turn up at the three rupture locations above, so the flow field and the gas distribution were similar. However, in order to further evaluate the influence of the second vortex on gas accumulation, the case when the fire intensity is 2 kw and rupture location is x=7 m was studied and the gas distribution were shown in Fig.6. Fig. 6 the gas distribution when at 2 kw and x=7 m It can be found that from the tunnel end to the tunnel outlet, the gas distribution still had an updown - left-right - uniform pattern. However, in the up-down region, the gas concentration is much higher near the roof which is contrary to the cases with fire intensity of 1 kw. Based on the analysis of Fig.3, when at the rupture location x=7 m and 2 kw, there was no second vortex in the tunnel. Therefore, it is proved further that the second vortex is an important factor influencing the gas distribution.

7 1446 LI Kun et al. / Procedia Engineering 26 (211) Conclusion The influence of different rupture locations resulted from fires on the gas accumulation was investigated in this paper. The variations of flow rate and flow field at different fire intensities and rupture locations were analyzed and the gas distribution and its main influencing factors were obtained. The main conclusions are as follows: 1) When at the same fire intensity, the flow rate increased as the distance between the tube outlet and the tunnel end increasing, and the slope of its variation curve increased. 2) When the distance between the tube outlet and the tunnel end was larger than a certain value, the second vortex turned up in the tunnel. Moreover, its scale decreased as the fire intensity increasing. 3) When at the same rupture location, the maximum gas concentration increased first and then decreased as the fire intensity increasing. When there was a second vortex, the maximum gas concentration increased as the fire intensity increasing. When there was no second vortex in the tunnel, it decreased as the fire intensity increasing. 4) For different fire intensities and rupture locations, from the tunnel end to the tunnel outlet, the gas distribution showed an up-down - left-right - uniform pattern. The second vortex was the main factor to decide whether the gas concentration is higher near the top or the bottom in the former part of the tunnel. Acknowledgement This research was supported by the National Science and Technology Support Plan Projects (No. 26BAK3B). References [1] Wang Deming, Zhou Fubao, Zhou Yan. Fire Resistance and Its Effect on Fire-Throttling During Mine Fire. Journal of China University of Mining & Technology, 21, 3(4): [2] Li Chuantong, Wang Xingshen. Study on Thermal Drag in the Combustion Zone of Mine Fire. Journal of China University of Mining & Technology, 1996, 25(4):6-11. [3] Su Chuanrong, Wang Haiyan, Zhou Xinquan. Numerical Simulation of Drifting Roadway Fire[C]. Proceedings of 26 International Colloquium on Safety Science and Technology, 26. [4] A. K. Singh, R.V. K. Singh etc. Mine Fire Gas Indices and their Application to Indian Underground Coal Mine Fires[J]. International Journal of the Coal Geology 69 (27) : [5] Zhu Hai-gang, Zhou Xin-quan, Jiang Wei, Wang Xuan. Study of Impact of Mine Fire on Gas Accumulation in Roadways[J]. Mining Safety & Environmental Protection, 28, 35(3): [6] Zhu Hong-qing, Zhou Bo-xiao, Zhang Bin, Chang Wen-jie, GuoDa, LIU Bao-dong. Discussion on Gas Density Distribution Law after Ventilation Fan Stopped in Mine Excavation Roadway[J]. Coal Science and Technology, 23, 31(2):48-5. [7] GAO Jian-Liang, XU Kun-Lun, WU Yan. Numerical Experiment of Methane Distribution in Developing Roadway. China Safety Science Journal, 29, 19(1): [8] Moloney, K. W., Lowndes, I. S., Stocks, M. R. and Hargrave, G.. Studies on alternative methods of ventilation using computational fluid dynamic, scale and full scale gallery tests[a]. Proceedings of the 6 th International Mine Ventilation Congress, Pittsburgh, 1997: [9] Heskestad, G. (22), 'Fire Plumes, Flame Height, and Air Entrainment,' in DiNenno, P. J., et al. (eds.), SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 3rd ed., Quincy, MA: Society of Fire Protection Engineers, pp [1] He Xueqiu et al. Theory and Technology for the Prevention of Coal Mine Disasters[M].Beijing: China University of Mining and Technology Press,26. [11] Li Kun, You Changfu, Yang Ruichang, Xu Xuchang. Analysis of Secondary Catastrophes from Mine Fires in Tunnels[C]. Progress in Safety Science and Technology, 28,VOL Ⅲ PartB: [12] Li Kun, Quan Jia, You Chang-fu. Influence of Fire Locations on Ventilation and Secondary Catastrophes in Tunnels[J]. Journal of Tsinghua University (Science and Technology), 21, 5(2):

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