Hydrodynamic Characterisation of Fire Sprinkler System of a Passenger Railroad Car

  • Matthew Craig Baker Hughes, Brent Avenue, Montrose
  • Muhammad Younas School of Engineering, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK (AB10 7GJ)
  • Taimoor Asim School of Engineering, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK (AB10 7GJ)
Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Fire Sprinkler, Railroad Car, Fire Propagation, Hydrant


Fire safety is one of the major concerns in the public transport and thus passenger trains in the UK seek continuous improvement in passenger safety and comfort. In order to combat fire, there is a legal requirement in most countries across the global to install a fire suppression system within passenger railroad cars. In the event of fire, the thermal sensors trigger high pressure flow of hydrant through nozzles into the railroad car, thus supressing the fire. The efficient design of fire suppression system is highly dependent on the operational parameters of the system. The published literature, although abundant in investigating the flow characteristics through nozzles, severely lacks in conjugating this with fire suppression. Thus, in the present study, extensive parametric investigations have been carried out on the operational and design parameters of a conventional fire suppression system using an integrated approach i.e., hydrant flow and combustion. Advanced numerical techniques have been employed to evaluate the hydrodynamic characteristics of the fire suppression system based on the size of droplets of the hydrant from exiting the nozzles and the flow rate of the hydrant. The effects of these parameters on the temperature and the concentration of soot particles within the passenger railroad car have been evaluated. The results show that smaller sized hydrant droplets (250um) are more effective in supressing the fire in enclosures compared to larger droplets (750um), while higher flow rates tend to supress the fire more efficiently. It is envisaged that the results obtained in the present study will help in developing more efficient fire suppression systems for passenger railroad cars.