SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1988

Promoted Ignition Behavior of Engineering Alloys in High-Pressure Oxygen


Promoted ignition describes a situation in which a substance with relatively low compatibility with oxygen ignites and supports the combustion of a more oxygen-compatible material. As a consequence, this mechanism could lead to significant component damage in a high-pressure oxygen system. Current cleaning specifications and normal engineering review procedures to a large extent preclude or minimize the possibility of oxygen incompatible substances in an oxygen system. Nevertheless, it is important for an oxygen system design engineer to be aware of the combustion resistance of potential oxygen system structural alloys as a result of a promoted ignition scenario. The trend towards higher oxygen usage pressures reinforces this requirement. Aluminum, cuprous, ferrous, nickel, and to a lesser extent, cobalt-based alloys are encountered in high-pressure oxygen systems. In this study, the promoted ignition resistance of over 40 engineering alloys from these systems were evaluated in gaseous oxygen at pressures up to 38.6 MPa using hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon-iron promoters. Burn rate data were obtained for selected alloy-oxygen pressure combinations. A ranking of alloys is proposed that is based on resistance to ignition, self-extinguishing of burning, effect of oxygen pressure, and upward combustion rates. This ranking will assist qualified technical personnel in materials selection for high-pressure oxygen services.

Author Information

McIlroy, K
Union Carbide Corp., Tonawanda, NY
Zawierucha, R
Union Carbide Corp., Tonawanda, NY
Drnevich, RF
Union Carbide Corp., Tonawanda, NY
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 85–104
DOI: 10.1520/STP26741S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5055-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0998-8