Damage caused by a fire in a tunnel always has a high cost, both in human and economic terms. It must be taken into account that, due to its characteristics, a fire in a tunnel reaches very high temperatures: lack of ventilation, concentration of gases, etc. Furthermore, we must also mention the difficulty of accessing the seat of the fire on the part of the fire fighting services, in order to evacuate people who need to get out, especially where there is concrete debris produced by spalling (explosion of the aggregate when the concrete reaches the temperature of 380°C and begins to break up) that block the exit routes.
When designing a tunnel, these situations must be taken into account, the provision of an alternative escape route, correct ventilation, active protection or the development of passive fire protection systems for the structural elements of the tunnel.
The cost of renovating a tunnel that has been affected by a fire is reduced if a passive fire protection treatment has been previously installed in the tunnel.
Most of today’s tunnels are designed with a concrete lining so that if there is any breach or failure on the surface, no debris will fall onto the road, since it is contained by the concrete lining. In addition, they offer less resistance to air movement due to the smoothness of their walls, which always improves air ventilation. However, to be protected against fire, the concrete must be covered by a fire-resistant material and meet the required fire protection requirements.
Perlita y Vermiculita, S.L.U. has several fire protection solutions for tunnels.
Here you will find some of our recommended products to ensure greater passive fire protection: