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Risks related to car fire on innovative Poroelastic Road Surfaces—PERS



To reduce tyre/road noise, the concept of poroelastic road surfaces (PERS) was invented. PERS is a road surface material that is porous, and at the same time, it is flexible because of the substantial amount of rubber granulate content (from 20% to 85%). The rubber and stone particles are bound by polyurethane resin instead of bitumen. It was feared that in case of fire, because of the high content of rubber and polyurethane, there may be considerable emission of potentially hazardous substances (such as hydrogen cyanide) from burning PERS. Tests performed by the Technical University of Gdansk show that the emission of toxic gases is rather small and that the surface does not promote car fire, even when soaked with fuel. Car fire with fuel spill on PERS is less dangerous for passengers than car fire on dense road surface as the fire is spreading much slower. The article presents results of laboratory and road experiments carried out within FP7 ‘PERSUADE’. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.