Engineering Ideas for preventing a fire at a tyre recycling plant ?

  • Thread starter davekardle
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  • #1
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Hey guys I was trying to come up with some ideas for preventing a fire at a recycling power plant.
From an engineerings perspective. Some method of cooling or something ? any idea/input would be appreciated guys. thanks.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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How does a fire start there? Tyres should not start to burn on their own.

Water?
 
  • #4
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Believe it or not, a couple of wikis about tire recycling and tire fires:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_recycling

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_fire
I've read all of them but the thing is my "project manager" assigned this project and also quoted the latent heat and heat of vaporisation of water as well as for the tires ? I haven't got a clue what to do with those figures. the only data I know is that I have a reservoir nearby and I'm recycling half million tyres.
 
  • #5
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How does a fire start there?
This is exactly the question I asked myself.
 
  • #6
OmCheeto
Gold Member
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I've read all of them but the thing is my "project manager" assigned this project and also quoted the latent heat and heat of vaporisation of water as well as for the tires ? I haven't got a clue what to do with those figures. the only data I know is that I have a reservoir nearby and I'm recycling half million tyres.
Put all the tyres in the reservoir?

...burned for months as the fire department was unable to extinguish it.
If professional fire fighters can't put them out, I doubt there is an "engineering" fix to put out a fire.

from the aforementioned wiki link said:
Tires are typically not prone to self-ignition as a tire must be heated to at least 400 °C for a period of several minutes prior to ignition. Therefore, tire fires are normally the result of arson or improper manipulation with open fire.
Based on this, my engineering ideas are:
a. do not light the tyres on fire
b. keep the tyres away from flames
c. keep the grass trimmed around the tyres, or use Roundup to kill the grass completely
d. install lightning rods away from the tyre mound
 
  • #7
etudiant
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Presumably recycling the tires requires shredding them, which seems a real risk of fire. The tire cords are often steel, so sparks are likely, plus shredding tires is very energy demanding, so a lot of heat is generated.
Is your manager hinting that he's thinking of spraying water on the tires as they are getting shredded?

Do also note that spontaneous combustion in tire remnants is a real hazard and tire fires are a bear to extinguish. Where do you store the recycled materials?
 
  • #8
OmCheeto
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Presumably recycling the tires requires shredding them, which seems a real risk of fire. The tire cords are often steel, so sparks are likely, plus shredding tires is very energy demanding, so a lot of heat is generated.
Is your manager hinting that he's thinking of spraying water on the tires as they are getting shredded?

Do also note that spontaneous combustion in tire remnants is a real hazard and tire fires are a bear to extinguish. Where do you store the recycled materials?
I couldn't find any reliable references to "spontaneous combustion", but did find the following website very informative: http://www.scrap.org/ArticlesArchive/2004/Jul-Aug/TireFires.HTM

Spark Detection and Suppression
Due to the risk of fire, most operators agree that granulation lines today require spark detection and suppression systems. “It’s not an option,” Hinsey asserts. “In our opinion, it’s absolutely mandatory.”
As Colyar explains, “To remove the wire from the rubber, you’re going to have sparking inside the machine, so the real issue becomes containment. That’s what a spark detection and suppression system can do.”
One vendor in this niche is Flamex Inc. (Greensboro, N.C.), which offers a high-speed infrared detection and suppression system. Among its features, the Flamex system has a flame detector on the outfeed of the processing system. “An infrared flame detector is used to stop the belt from moving down the process line and trigger a water spray in the machine as well as the infeed and outfeed to extinguish any fire,” notes Allen Wagoner, the firm’s vice president.
 
  • #9
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I've read all of them but the thing is my "project manager" assigned this project and also quoted the latent heat and heat of vaporisation of water as well as for the tires ? I haven't got a clue what to do with those figures. the only data I know is that I have a reservoir nearby and I'm recycling half million tyres.
You would just need to use your common sense. Maybe pay a visit to the site.
 
  • #10
NascentOxygen
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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Hey guys I was trying to come up with some ideas for preventing a fire at a recycling power plant.
Plenty of barbed wire, IR cameras on towers, hungry Alsatians, and a fast response team on standby 24/7, for starters, with all leave cancelled on full moons, public holidays, and Guy Fawkes night. [Broken]

Sooner or later massive piles of tyres must prove irresistible to a local pyromaniac.

I suppose they should be arranged in multiple smaller manageable piles, spaced apart, rather than one giant and inaccessible heap, so that any fire could be contained and attacked from all sides.
 
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  • #11
Danger
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Just move the entire operation off-shore and do it under water.
 
  • #12
rollingstein
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Some ideas: A temperature sensing thermocouple in the larger piles of granulated material? Auto-ignition can be monitored. On really hot days a cooling water trickle / spray might be worth it?

Large separation between piles? Some sort of wind-break so that fires do not easily spread? Good inventory management so that large piles are rarer. Especially if ground material / residues can be minimized.

N2 blanketing within the grinding machines? Isolating the "hot" / high-risk areas from rest of the facility? Good housekeeping / reduce stray material that's a fire risk.

Arson seems a big threat. Invest in good security systems? Dogs might work.

Mostly, it depends on how much money you can spare for the measures.
 

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