Going Deeper Underground – Why Tunnel Dampers Need to Meet the Standards

Sectros Tunnel Metro

Transit tunnels are unlike any other part of a transport network. Where are a road or railway is usually exposed to the wide open elements, in a tunnel it’s suddenly hemmed in on all sides.

The first thing to suffer in conditions like this is air quality. Imagine a hundred cars on the open road – wind down your window and you’ll likely taste fresh air. Do the same in a similarly-laden tunnel and you’ll get a face-full of exhaust fumes, NOx and CO gases.

Tunnel dampers form an integral part of transit tunnel air management systems. They allow for the regulated flow of air – clean air in, fumes out – in a manner that carefully manages pressures and flow rates.

If the worst happens and a fire breaks out, however, they really come into their own. Tunnel fires tend to concentrate heat, fire and smoke, quickly becoming extremely hazardous to all those trapped within. They also make life extremely difficult for fire fighters who need to be able to approach the blaze to properly combat it.

High integrity dampers – which need to be able to withstand 400° C temperatures for up to two hours to meet appropriate testing standards – are needed to allow clean air to enter the appropriate parts of the tunnel, to purge and vent smoke away and to prevent it from spreading further throughout the tunnel. Without them the risk to human life – and the integrity of the tunnel itself – would be simply unacceptable.

Find out more here.

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