Quantitative risk assessment of continuous liquid spill fires based on spread and burning behaviours

Jinlong Zhao, Hong Huang, Yuntao Li, Grunde Jomaas, Haiyan Wang, Maohua Zhong

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Spill fires usually occur during the storage and transportation of hazardous materials, posing a threat to the people and environment in their immediate proximity. In this paper, a classical Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) method is used to assess the risk of spill fires. In this method, the maximum spread area and the steady burning area are introduced as parameters to clearly assess the range of influence of the spill fire. In the calculations, a modified spread model that takes into consideration the burning rate variation is established to calculate the maximum spread area. Furthermore, the steady burning area is calculated based on volume conservation between the leakage rate and the fuel consumption rate due to burning. Combining these two parameters with leakage frequency, flame model, and vulnerability model, the dynamic individual risk can be calculated quantitatively. Subsequently, large-scale experiments of spill fires on water and a glass sheet were conducted to verify the accuracy and application of the model. The results show that the procedure we developed can be used to quantitatively calculate the risk associated with a continuous spill fire.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Pages (from-to)500-506
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Spill fires
  • Maximum spread area
  • Steady burning area
  • Risk assessment
  • Large-scale experiments


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