Title: A method of fire testing cars

Authors: B. Hamsten

Addresses: Product Development Department, Volvo Car Corporation Goteborg, Sweden

Abstract: Fires in the passenger compartments of modern cars are rare. The main risk now is of rues that start elsewhere in the car spreading to the passenger cabin before the occupants have time to escape. The engine compartment is the source of the most serious fires; and to reduce the risk of these occurring fuel lines are now provided with extra fire-resistant sheathing, and electrical wiring is run as far away from fuel lines as possible. A series of fuel tests, carried out on Volvo 240 and 760 GLE models, are described. The results in terms of speed of the spread of the fire, production of toxic fumes and the fue3esistance of the engine compartment bulkhead and of bushings and seals are presented. It is concluded that the fire precautions in the new 760 GLE allow more than five minutes before an engine fire spreads beyond the bulkhead, and three minutes before levels of toxic fumes become dangerous. These times should be adequate to permit the occupants to evacuate the vehicle safely.

Keywords: vehicle safety; fire test methods; fire spread; electrical short circuit; fire resistant materials; toxic emissions; test verification; Volvo; vehicle fires.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1983.061079

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1983 Vol.4 No.2, pp.159 - 170

Available online: 25 May 2014 *

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