Aspects of Fire and Thermal Safety in Vehicle Development 2015-26-0156
This paper details the methodology used to prevent Thermal events in a vehicle at design and development stages which can lead to vehicle fire or Thermal events. Vehicle Safety is always been in prime focus for designers while introducing newer products in markets for the customers. It is now common to see vehicles catching on fire in roads and in parking places leading to destruction of the surroundings as well as hazard to the passengers. Thermal events can take place due to the heat dissipated by the heat emitters such as Engine, Turbo, Alternator, Exhaust System etc. So the most critical area where Thermal event can take place are under hood which includes the complete engine compartment and under body. The extent of fire depends on the fire source, characteristics of the materials used in constructing and furnishing the vehicle.
The Performance and life of Electronic parts and parts made of polymeric materials such as rubber and plastics which in result are greatly influenced by the temperature of their surroundings. Different materials have different sensitivities to temperature and decomposition processes will differ substantially from case to case. High temperatures, hot surfaces and a variety of combustible materials make the engine compartment and under body high fire risk areas. Under these scenarios it is important for any vehicle designer to consider the hazards associated with fire and choose the materials appropriately for avoiding and minimizing the fires to pose less risk to the occupants. In this paper the possible fire sources, combustible material in vehicles and considerations in design for minimizing the risks related to fire and Thermal safety are detailed taking into account the hazards associated and risk assessment.