Vehicle fires in underground mines pose a certain risk for which measures to prevent or mitigate the fires are highly important. Fire protection measures can be divided into active and passive measures, where active measures require an external power to work in the event of a fire, and passive measures could include an existing partition preventing fire spread. As passive fire protection does not rely on activation, it is expected to provide high reliability and a robust solution, and should be considered during the design process. This paper investigates passive fire protection measures that could be implemented in the design of mining vehicles. It was found that passive fire protection should include the use of several measures simultaneously to ensure fire protection throughout the different phases of a fire. Threshold distances for fuel components were calculated, and it was found that combining hydraulic hoses and electrical cables resulted in larger threshold distances. A pool fire along the underside of a vehicle will pose a certain risk, and passive measures should be focused on ignition prevention, making high demands on the insulation/shielding along the underside. Any occurring tire fire may pose a challenge, and the priority should be on preventing ignition. Potential measures include shielding the wheelhouse and applying fire-resistant sealings.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2021) 38:609–622, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00359-7