Failure Analysis of Fires in Oxygen Production Process Valves

    Published: Jan 2003

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    The NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) as requested to perform failure analyses on damaged hardware from a series of fires that occurred in an oxygen production process (OPP). The purpose of the analysis was to determine the cause of the fires, which occurred in five valves in separate incidents in two different applications. The approach of the analysis was to understand the system configuration and operation, review the fire scenario, and analyze the system for possible ignition mechanisms. The evidence was reviewed and analyzed using microphotography and macrophotography, scanning electron microscopy, and chemical analysis. The evidence was then used to prove or disprove various failure scenarios. This paper reports the analysis results and provides recommendations for improving the system's resistance to ignition and combustion.


    failure analysis, failure investigation, metering valve, oxygen production process valve, shut off valve

    Author Information:

    Beeson, H
    Special Projects Manager, NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM

    Ginter, J
    Project Engineer, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia, PA

    Dobbin, D
    Mechanical Engineer, Boeing North American, White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM

    Forsyth, E
    Consultant, Oxygen Safety Consultants, Inc., Tulsa, OK

    Committee/Subcommittee: G04.92

    DOI: 10.1520/STP11592S

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