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Tunnel dampers are designed to control airflow in some of the most incredibly challenging environments possible, typically in underground tunnels for roads and metros. They are often used to regulate the flow of air in order to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for passengers and vehicles in the tunnel and to help regulate the distribution of smoke and hazardous gasses in the case of a fire.

High humidity and unclean air mean these often hard to access dampers must be built by reliable and trusted manufacturers. When lives are at stake, tunnel dampers have to be ready.

Tunnel dampers are typically made of galvanized or stainless steel and are usually automatically operated. They can be installed in the air intake or exhaust vents of a tunnel to control the flow of air and maintain the desired air pressure within the tunnel.

AWV has a wide range of tunnel dampers to suit the specific needs of your application. With many mounting options and leakage rates, AWV tunnel dampers are designed to meet the needs of any application. The most common applications for AWV tunnel dampers include:

  • Pressure Equalization

  • Emergency Fire/Smoke Control

  • Portal Intake/Exhaust

Tunnel dampers can serve different purposes based on how the tunnel is being used. For metro systems, pressurized air can form in front of a fast moving train, known as the piston effect. Tunnel dampers are used on incoming and outgoing sides of the station, as outgoing trains pull air while incoming trains push air. In emergency situations, many tunnel dampers are controlled remotely to keep fire and smoke blowing away from people as passengers escape the tunnel.

AWV dampers are designed to withstand the rigors of the toughest environments, to help ensure reliable performance and long-lasting durability. AWV tunnel dampers are ready to work when they are needed most. Because of the tough requirements of the applications, tunnel dampers must meet certain specifications including NFPA-130, NFPA-502, UL 555S, and BS 476 (UK) standards. AWV offers tunnel dampers to meet all of these certifications, although we are not always required to. For example, BS 476 is not always required to be met in the US, but AWV tunnel dampers are fabricated in such a way as to exceed the limits for BS 476 compliant construction.

Able to operate with face velocities up to 8,000 fpm and with pressure differentials of up to 60” wg, AWV dampers can meet any application’s requirements, even though 4000fpm and 40 in wg is the more practical limit. AWV also offers tunnel dampers with optional blade arrangements, blade seals, and the ability to operate in per the minimum NFPA requirement of 305°F. That said, 482°F is more commonly spec’d, and internationally 752°F is occasionally seen.

Our team of experts can help you design the best tunnel damper solution for your application. Understanding the requirements of the project, required certifications, and specific budget, the team at AWV can find a solution that is just right for you. We offer a range of options, including dampers rated for operation in elevated temperatures or that can be controlled remotely via an actuator and a central controller.

If you need help finding the right damper for your transit application, contact us today to learn more.