With vehicles frequently found in mines and tires being a major fuel item, the risk of tire fires will be severe underground. This study presents an analysis of tire fires on mining vehicles to increase the knowledge of the risk and mitigating measures, which would improve the fire safety underground. Data from fire experiments and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were applied. It was found that the wheelhouse of a loader caused an increase in the flame tilt angle, decreasing the flame impingement and heat flux downstream. The flame temperature of a drilling rig tire was found to be higher than that of a loader tire, increasing the risk of igniting 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 a drilling rig for higher flow velocities, indicating the influence of the wheelhouse/mudguard construction and tire geometry on the flame tilt angle. The construction of a loader resulted in flow behavior, where the short distance to the front mudguard/tire and the separation of flow directly downstream of the construction led to gases being steered past the front mudguard/tire. In a drilling rig case, the longer distance to the front mudguard/tire led to gases being directed toward the body of the vehicle after passing the area with flow separation.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2022) 39:317–334, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-022-00556-6