The tank washdown process of large tankers has become the subject of much investigation due to the recent electro-statically caused explosions occurring aboard this type vessel. Organizations such as Norske Veritas, Shell International Maritime, The Norweigan Maritime Authority, and others have done several experiments in this field, and this article publishes some of their findings and recommendations. Tests on the different water washdown systems and procedures have brought three important facts to light. (1) When water drops picked up oil and other contaminants, they increased their electrical potential. (2) Chemical additives added to the electrical potential of the water and reversed the polarity of the water molecules. (3) Final point made was that water particles heated above 60 degrees Centigrade had a greater electrical potential than that of water not heated to this temperature. There still remains to be examined and tested the problem of measuring the static electricity in a tank accurately and the setting of safety limitations. Some preliminary safety recommendations are made from the results of past tests and experiments.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Engineering, Chemical and Marine Press, Limited

    33-39 Bowling Green Lane
    London EC1P 1AH,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1971-8

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00019538
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 25 1972 12:00AM