SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2003

Failure Analysis of Fires in Oxygen Production Process Valves


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.

Author Information

Beeson, H
NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM
Ginter, J
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia, PA
Dobbin, D
Boeing North American, White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM
Forsyth, E
Oxygen Safety Consultants, Inc., Tulsa, OK
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 245–257
DOI: 10.1520/STP11592S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5489-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0998-8