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

  1. May 6, 2013 #1
    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.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2013 #2


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

  4. May 6, 2013 #3


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  5. May 7, 2013 #4
    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.
  6. May 7, 2013 #5
    This is exactly the question I asked myself.
  7. May 7, 2013 #6


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    Put all the tyres in the reservoir?

    If professional fire fighters can't put them out, I doubt there is an "engineering" fix to put out a 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
  8. May 7, 2013 #7


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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?
  9. May 7, 2013 #8


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    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

  10. May 8, 2013 #9
    You would just need to use your common sense. Maybe pay a visit to the site.
  11. May 11, 2013 #10


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    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  12. May 11, 2013 #11


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    Just move the entire operation off-shore and do it under water.
  13. May 12, 2013 #12


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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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