SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2003

Promoted Ignition and Burning Tests of Stainless Steel in Flowing and Nonflowing Oxygen


The Industry-Sponsored Metals Combustion Test Program 96-1 was coordinated through Wendell Hull & Associates, Inc., on behalf of several contributing companies, and all design and testing was performed at the NASA White Sands Test Facility. Phase I of this test program studied the threshold pressure for self-sustained burning of various types and sizes of stainless steel rods in nonflowing oxygen, as observed in Standard Test Method for Determining the Combustion Behavior of Metallic Materials in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres (ASTM G 124-95). Phase II studied the ignition and propagation of burning of 316L stainless steel rods and pipe in flowing gaseous oxygen. The test sample configurations were chosen to replicate previous promoted ignition and burning tests as well as to represent geometries and cross-sectional thicknesses common in industrial piping applications. The gas pressures and velocities for the test matrix were selected to generally compare with CGA G-4.4 guidelines for the use of stainless steel in oxygen service. This paper summarizes the results from the Phase I nonflowing oxygen tests and presents in detail the results of the Phase II flowing oxygen tests. The maximum sample burn-length is shown as a function of test pressure in Phase I and also as a function of gas velocity in Phase II. These results indicate that flowing oxygen, under the given test conditions, significantly affects maximum sample burn length as compared to nonflowing oxygen. Supplementary flowing oxygen test data on stainless steel rods from a follow-up test program are consistent with these results and are presented herein.

Author Information

Forsyth, ET
Oxygen Safety Consultants, Inc./Wendell Hull & Associates, Inc., Tulsa, OK, 74104
Maes, M
NASA Johnson Space Center, Las Cruces, NM
Stoltzfus, JM
NASA Johnson Space Center, Las Cruces, NM
Bachelier, F
Air Liquide World Wide Engineering, Champigny-sur-Marne, France
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 102–119
DOI: 10.1520/STP11583S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5489-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0998-8