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Heymes F.,Ecole des Mines d'Ales | Aprin L.,Ecole des Mines d'Ales | Birk A.M.,Queen's University | Slangen P.,Ecole des Mines d'Ales | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries | Year: 2013

This paper describes an experimental study of 2300 L pressure vessels exposed to remote fire heating by a natural gas fuelled wall fire simulator. The tanks were filled to 15% capacity with commercial liquid propane. The flame intensity and distance were varied to study the effect of different heating levels on the tank and its lading. The fire simulator is first characterized with tests including fire thermocouples, radiative flux meters and thermal imaging. With the appropriate positioning of a target tank it is possible to get very realistic fire heat fluxes at the tank surface. Three tests were conducted with the 2300 L tanks filled to 15% capacity with propane. The tanks were positioned at three different distances from the wall fire resulting in measured average peak heat flux at the tank surfaces ranging between 24 and 43 kW m-2. The data shows rapid rise in vapour space wall temperatures, significant temperature stratification in the vapour space, and moderate rate of pressure rise. These results provide excellent data for the validation of computer models used to predict the response of pressure vessels exposed to moderate heating from a remote fire. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Heymes F.,Ecole des Mines d'Ales | Aprin L.,Ecole des Mines d'Ales | Forestier S.,Ecole des Mines d'Ales | Slangen P.,Ecole des Mines d'Ales | And 3 more authors.
Fire Safety Journal | Year: 2013

During wildland fires, homes located close to the fire can be threatened by the thermal heat flux from the firewall. Several studies have attempted to establish safety distances to protect people and prevent houses from burning, but no research has focused on the possible presence of an LPG tank, which would be supplying fuel for heating or cooking. This topic is, however, very important since hazards from a BLEVE (blast, fireball, fragments) can hurt firefighters during their intervention. This article aims to analyze the impact of a large crown fire on an LPG tank, if a mandatory safety zone of fifty meters is respected. Part One focuses on theoretical considerations aiming to (i) calculate the radiative heat fluxes impacting the tank, and (ii) perform a real scale test. Experiments were performed with a 2 m3 LPG tank 15% full, with a heat flux from a natural gas burner system. The relevance of these test versus a real case is discussed. Results are in very good agreement with the expected heat fluxes, and suggest that there should be no BLEVE risk in the hypothetical conditions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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