Volume 6, Issue 8 (September 2009)
Test Method for Quantifying the Ignitability of Metallic Materials
Currently, no test standard exists for quantifying the ignitability of metallic materials in oxygen. Metallic materials are consistently used at oxygen pressures significantly greater than their associated burn limits. Oxygen fires are rare in these applications; however, they still occur and the proximity to ignition and fire for applications that do not experience fire is always unknown. A new test method for quantifying the ignitability of metallic materials in oxygen is described. The method uses a powerful electric arc to deliver a quantifiable amount of energy at the surface of a metallic sample and estimate the minimum ignition energy of the material. A case example is provided in which arc ignition test results were used to evaluate the ignitability of aluminum-bronze and to help support a particle ignition risk analysis of aluminum-bronze industrial control valves.