Transport fire safety engineering in the European Union (TRANSFEU)

In the frame of the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013, the "TRANSFEU" Project was started in May 2009 and will take 3.5 years. With a budget of € 3.5M, the project focuses on the toxicity of fire effluents in trains and ships. Coordinated by the French Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais (LNE), the consortium consists of 22 partners, including 10 fire labs and research centres, 1 association, 4 train manufacturers, 4 national train operators, 2 standards organizations, and 1 consultancy organization.

The consideration of larger, complex vehicle structure designs together with the presence of more complex phenomena, due to combined effect of toxic emission, heat release, smoke distribution and active / passive safety on vehicles, implies the utilisation of an alternative holistic approach. This approach will allow using a performance-based fire safety methodology, which provides more flexible and economic solutions. The main objective of TRANSFEU is therefore to propose and develop a range of alternative and complementary fire safety strategies using innovative advanced materials able to achieve the design objectives of railways and other surface transportation means such as marine craft.  

One major focus of the project is its direct contribution to the finalisation of the European standard EN 45545 Part 2 "Fire protection on railway vehicles - Part 2: Requirements for fire behaviour of materials and components" for a dynamic measurement of toxicity and in using fire safety engineering (FSE) and simulation as a possible alternative to current prescriptive fire safety regulations and standards.

A round robin with 60 materials has started for validating the ISO 5659 smoke chamber test and FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra Red) gas analysis method. The results will be included into the revision of the CEN/TS 45545-2 fire safety technical specification for railways and its future use as an EN standard to be referred to in the EC Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI).

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