In this work, a numerical 3D simulation of a longitudinal ventilation system is developed to analyze the fire behavior inside a road tunnel. Recent disasters, like crashes in the Mont Blanc tunnel (France, 1999) or San Gottardo (Italy, 2001), have shown the need for better integral actions during possible fire incidents. The minimum delay time, required for starting the jet fans, or the evolution of the smoke patterns inside the tunnel are critical issues when rescue plans are designed. Some methods to study the smoke propagation during a fire are: pseudo-thermal scale models, full scale test and numerical models. Several contributions using the first method can be found in references [1], [2] and [3]. However it is very difficult to extrapolate the results from this kind of models. The second method (full scale test) is the most expensive of all and only two of them have been conducted recently: EUREKA Project [4] and the Memorial Tunnel Fire Ventilation Test Program [5]. The last method (numerical models) it is now under development. The objective of this work is to validate a numerical model, to predict the behavior of the smoke generated during a fire incident inside a road tunnel, comparing its results with previous experimental data collected in the Memorial Tunnel Project. In addition, a good agreement was achieved, so a methodology to predict the performance of a longitudinal ventilation system in case of fire was accurately established.

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