Improving Fire Safety: Modifying Droplet Behavior to Minimize Ignition

Recent analysis of Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) truck crash data shows that fatalities are ten times more likely to occur during a crash if there is a fire present. This highlights the need for technology that can mitigate or eliminate these crash fires. One such methodology is to add a polymer additive to the fuel to modify its splashing and misting characteristics. Reduction of fuel splashing and misting greatly reduces the likelihood of a fire. Three years of Mid-America Transportation Center (MATC) and DOT support has led to the development of a computer modeling method that can predict droplet splashing and mist formation. The goal of this project would bring that work to fruition by computationally testing all of the crash conditions of interest and then transferring the results to industry and academia where the appropriate polymers could be developed. One of the recent issues for the state of Iowa is the increased number of pure ethanol shipments between producers and blending facilities, greatly increasing the accident risk and precipitating a warning from the US DOT on vehicle-related ethanol fires. The methods planned for this project would reduce this risk.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $52271.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Iowa, Iowa City

    102 Church Street
    Iowa City, IA  United States  52242
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ratner, Albert

  • Start Date: 20120701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33515

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01483135
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mid-America Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC07
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2013 1:01AM