Fire risks of burning asphalt
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Fire and Materials
Volume 34, Issue 7, pages 333–340, November 2010
How to Cite
Schartel, B., Bahr, H., Braun, U. and Recknagel, C. (2010), Fire risks of burning asphalt. Fire Mater., 34: 333–340. doi: 10.1002/fam.1027
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Received: 20 NOV 2009
- cone calorimeter;
- fire behaviour
Eyewitnesses describe burning pavement surfaces in extreme fire scenarios. However, it was believed that the pavement plays a negligible role in comparison to other items feeding such an extreme fire at the same time. The asphalt mixtures used differ widely, thus raising the question as to whether this conclusion holds for all kinds of such materials. Three different kinds of asphalt mixtures were investigated with the aim of benchmarking the fire risks. Cone calorimeter tests are performed at an irradiance of 70kWm−2. All three investigated asphalts burn in extreme fire scenarios. The fire response (fire load, time to ignition, maximum heat release rate and smoke production) is quite different and varies by factors of up to 10 when compared to each other. The fire load per mass is always very low due to the high content of inert minerals, whereas the effective heat of combustion of the volatiles is quite typical of non-flame retarded organics. The heat release rate and fire growth indices are strongly dependent on the fire residue and thus the kind of mineral filler used. Comparing with polymeric materials, the investigated Mastic Asphalt and Stone Mastic Asphalt may be called intrinsically flame resistant, whereas the investigated Special Asphalt showed a pronouncedly greater fire risk with respect to causing fire growth and smoke. Thus the question is raised as to whether the use of certain kinds of asphalts in tunnels must be reconsidered. Apart from the binder used, the study also indicates varying the kind of aggregate as a possible route to eliminate the problem. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.