Volume 6, Issue 6 (June 2009)
Vacuum Superinsulated Liquid Oxygen Piping and Vessels
Vacuum superinsulation is commonly used in industrial applications for liquid oxygen transfer piping and liquid oxygen vessels as an alternative to other solid insulation materials such as perlite or Foamglass®, which have lower thermal performances. Tests have been conducted on insulation materials according to ASTM D2512 (equivalent to ISO 11114–3, EN 1797) in LOX as well as according to ASTM G72 (equivalent to EN 1797) in GOX. The superinsulation materials that have been tested are a number of layers of aluminum foils of various thicknesses each being separated by intermediate nonmetallic layers of various nature. Based on experience and incidents in the industry, this paper is intended to discuss the recent test results in pure oxygen and the possible ignition of superinsulation material in the interspace and mechanism of propagation as well as the consequences of a fire. Recommendations regarding material selection for vacuum superinsulation materials in LOX applications are also provided.