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Past arguments supporting the oxygen index (OI) test for the evaluation of materials for oxygen service are reaffirmed. The OIs of solid fuels are compared to gaseous fuel flammability limits. The influence of the nonstandard diluents, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), carbon dioxide (CO2), helium, and argon on the OI of poly(methylmethacrylate) is reviewed. New categories for the reporting of OI results are proposed. OI data for 79 materials are reported. A generalized “nitrous oxide (N2O) index” is used to draw analogies between materials in N2O service and materials in oxygen service.
oxygen index, oxygen compatibility, nitrous oxide compatibility, fire, flammability, explosive decomposition
Hazards research specialist, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Allentown, PA