Fire Safety of Road Vehicles Status and Trends

Report
Fire Safety of Road Vehicles
Status and Trends
Presentation given at Tokyo
September 2014
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Fire Safety of Road Vehicles

Flammability requirements for automotive worldwide very low (MVSS
302). No major regulatory changes foreseen

Trends automotive: Compact systems with more plastics,
electromobility requires higher fire safety for cabling,
electrical/electronic parts, batteries

Battery fires may be an issue. Requirements for large batteries in
electric vehicles developed by Underwriters Laboratories as UL Subject
2580

Consequences: higher fire safety requirements (UL94 V0 or 5V for
electrical parts and batteries) in automotive
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Fire Safety of Buses

Busses EU very low fire safety (MVSS 302 + vertical curtain +
drip tests)

A series of bus fire catastrophes in Europe (Germany, Nordic
countries), USA, China and India has sensitized public opinion
to improve fire safety

Studies made on fire safety of materials and components
meeting new European railway requirements show that bus
fires can be avoided or dramatically reduced

Medium term adjustment of fire safety in buses to stringent
European railway requirements under discussion
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Bus fires statistical review Norway/Sweden

1.0 - 1.5 % of buses in Norway and Sweden are involved in a fire incident every year

Largest risk of severe fire starting in engine compartment
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Bus fire Hannover, Germany, November 2008
 A German tour bus caught fire on a German
highway killing 20 people
 Fire broke out in the bathroom of the bus due
to electrical malfunction
 When the door was opened, flames shot out
and quickly engulfed the bus
 The fire propagated so quickly because the
materials’ fire safety level was too low
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
What are the fire safety tests for buses used in Europe?
International Flammability Test for Road Vehicles to FMVSS 302
•
•
•
•
Also ISO 3795, DIN 75200
Car interior
Bunsen burner 38 mm flame
Horizontal flame propagation max. 100 mm/min or less
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
EU Flammability Tests for Buses to EU Directive 95/28/EC
•
Interior materials
Horizontal
to ISO 3795
•
Curtains
Vertical
to ISO 6940
•
Ceiling
Drip test
to NF P 92-505
fire road
safety
India, September
2014 2014
FireBus
safety
vehicles
Japan, September
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Fire safety of buses
New developments
 Following several catastrophic bus fires, the current fire safety requirements are
perceived as too low
 This is evidenced by a Swedish study (SP) on fire safety in buses
 As a consequence, on international level, UNECE initiated a revision of the
regulation No. 118, Burning behaviour of materials in buses
 Sweden and Norway proposed more stringent tests for buses; they are already
used for European high speed railways and internationally for ships (IMO FTP
Code)
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Fire safety of buses
Fire safety in buses
2006 Study made and published by
SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
on behalf of the Swedish Road Administration and
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Background and objectives SP study
 Most public transport applications, except buses, have high fire safety
requirements that give a satisfactory level of safety
 Test methods to evaluate ignition, fire spread, smoke and toxic gases have been
developed within ISO and are already used for high speed trains in Europe and
internationally for passenger ships (IMO)
 The study objective is to show that established test methods for ships and trains
are suitable for improving the fire safety levels of materials and components used
in buses
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Conclusions SP Study

The existing fire safety requirements do not guarantee a satisfactory fire safety level on
buses

Reason: test method and criteria (FMVSS 302) do not properly discriminate between
materials with high or low fire safety performance

Consequence: fire safety performance of the interior materials and furnishings of certain
bus types may be unacceptably low

An acceptable fire safety level can be reached when using the ISO tests for flame spread of
surface linings and floorings, as well as the smoke and toxic gas production tests
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations
United Nations Economic and Social Council
ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE
INLAND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations
Working Party on General Safety Provisions
ECE/TRANS/WP.29/GRSG/Geneva
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Amendment of Regulation No. 118
Proposal Norway and Sweden from the SP study
Lateral flame spread to ISO 5658-2
on transport products in vertical configuration
(also used for ships according to IMO FTP-Code)
The following materials shall undergo the test :
(a) Ceiling lining materials
(b) Side and rear walls, including separation walls, lining materials
(c) Thermal and/or acoustic function materials
(d) Interior lining of luggage-racks, heating and ventilation pipes materials
Test result satisfactory if average value of CFE* > 20 kW/m2
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Amendment of Regulation No. 118
Proposal Norway and Sweden from the SP study
Smoke generation and toxicity to ISO 5659-2
of smoke gases from a burning material
(also used for ships according to IMO FTP-Code)
The following materials shall undergo the test:
(a) Ceiling lining materials
(b) Side and rear walls, including separation walls, lining materials
(c) Thermal and/or acoustic function materials
(d) Interior lining of luggage-racks, heating and ventilation pipes materials
(e) Interior lining of the floor materials
Result for smoke opacity satisfactory if the average value of the maximum smoke density (Dm) for
materials (a) to (d) < 200 and < 500 for material (e)
(a) Materials for interior lining of floors tested at 25 kW/m2, + pilot flame
(b) All other materials at 50 kW/m2, no pilot flame
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Amendment of Regulation No. 118
Proposal Norway and Sweden from the SP study
Lateral flame spread (floorings) to ISO 9239-1
on transport products in horizontal configuration
Test result satisfactory, if average value of CHF > 4.5 kW/m2
(CHF = critical heat flux)
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Amendment of Regulation No. 118
Proposal Norway and Sweden from the SP study
Test to determine the fire behaviour of seats
(Annex C to EN 45545-2
Fire protection of railway vehicles)
The complete seats shall undergo the test.
Result satisfactory if MARHE < 50 kW.
(MAHRE = Maximum Average Rate of Heat Emission)
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Flammability test for wire and cable in buses
Newly introduced into ECE R 118
ISO 6722:2006 Road vehicles - 60 V and 600 V single-core cables - Dimensions, test methods and
requirements
Paragraph 12: Resistance to flame propagation
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Amendment of Regulation No. 118
Conclusions

With the 01 series of amendments (date of entry into force 9 December 2010) the test to
determine the capability of materials to repel fuel or lubricant and tests for electric cables were
added. It becomes mandatory on 9th of December 2012 for new bus types and component
types and on 9th of December 2015 for first registrations.

With the 02 series of amendments (date of entry into force 26 July 2012) the requirements for
material installed in a vertical position with regard to the vertical burning rate were extended
and the possibility to use the tests of the railway standard was introduced. These requirements
become mandatory on 26th of July 2016 for new component types, 26th of July 2017 for new
vehicle types and on 26th of July 2020 for first registrations.
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
School buses in the USA

Basically, MVSS 302 is required for all school buses

In many US States higher fire safety requirements are prescribed for school buses

In Nevada for instance, as of January 2016 any new school bus must meet additional
requirements to either:
- ASTM E1537 Fire Testing of Upholstered Furniture (propane burner and heat release
measurement by oxygen consumption) ; or
- The School Bus Seat Upholstery Fire Block Test
- In the engine compartment UL 94 V0 has to be met for molded parts, HF-1 for foams and
VTM-0 for thin films

Some states also use the vertical Bunsen burner test to FAR-25-853B used for aircraft interior
materials
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014
Fire safety in buses
Conclusions and outlook
 Following catastrophic fires, the fire safety in buses is perceived as currently being
too low
 The amendment of the UNECE Regulation 118 has set higher fire safety levels in
buses; this is a step in the right direction
 In the USA, some states have higher fire safety requirements for seating in school
buses
 Basically more efforts must be made for further improving the fire safety levels of
buses’ interiors (tests on seating)
Fire safety road vehicles Japan, September 2014

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