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The ignition containment capability of 12 oxygen regulators subjected to promoted ignition was investigated. Oxygen regulators were contaminated with hydrocarbon oil to levels ranging from 98 mg to 651 mg. The regulators were preset to 0.55 MPa (80 psi) and interfaced to a system which permitted a flow rate of 1966 cc/s (250 scfh). The regulator inlets were then pressurized to 15.2 MPa (2200 psi) with gaseous oxygen and the oil was ignited by an electrical ark located upstream of the test article inlet port. The hydrocarbon flame was allowed to propagate with the oxygen flow throughout the regulator internal cavities. The test articles were monitored by video to document their ability to contain the hydrocarbon promoted internal combustion. Reactions ranged from complete containment of the promoted ignition for one two-stage regulator to extensive burning and explosive energy release for several other single-stage and two-stage regulators. The results suggest the overwhelming need to prevent the introduction of hydrocarbon oil in regulators and other oxygen components.
oxygen regulator fire, oxygen regulator burnout, regulator contamination, regulator ignition, ignition containment, oxygen fires, oxygen hazards, oxygen safety
Aerospace engineer, NASA, Johnson Space Center, White Sands Test Facility, Laboratories Office, Las Cruces, NM
Test Laboratory Manager and Director of Product Integrity, Victor Equipment Company, Denton, Texas
Director of Product Integrity, Victor Equipment Company, Denton, Texas