Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Asymmetric flow effect in a horizontal natural ventilated tunnel with different aspect ratios under the influence of longitudinal fire locations


asymmetric flow effect, fire location, thermal flow, smoke, tunnel fire, CFD


This paper has analyzed the asymmetric flow effect of fire-induced thermal flow in a horizontal tunnel under the natural ventilation condition by conducting large eddy simulations (LES). The key objective is to reveal and to have a better understanding of the asymmetric flow effect caused by the upstream and downstream tunnel length difference. The mechanism behind it can be explained based on the conservation of mass and dynamic force analysis on the smoke and fresh air. The strength of the asymmetric flow effect is characterized by the mass flow rate of the induced longitudinal flow (net mass flow rate of a cross-section). An empirical correlation to predict the induced longitudinal mass flow rate is proposed. Furthermore, the law of smoke and air flow distribution within a horizontal tunnel is established. The proportion of smoke (or air) flowing out (or coming in) through the opening increase (or decrease) linearly with the increasing distance between that opening to the fire location. The variation of the air flow with the longitudinal fire location in a tunnel is more sensitive than the smoke flow. Results have shown that as the fire approaches the tunnel exit from the middle of the tunnel, the smoke spilling out through this opening is reduced from 50% to 40%, while the fresh air incoming from this opening is increased from 50% to 100% and vice versa.


Tsinghua University Press