ELECTROSTATIC GENERATION WHILE TANK WASHING AND IGNITION HAZARDS OF FUEL AIR MIXTURES

The causes of explosions occurring in tankers during tank washing operations are yet unknown. Tests, conducted with simulated tank washing using water pressures of less than 20 psi and flows of up to 1600 cc/sec inside a tank of cubical dimension 1.36 m showed that substantial electrification could develop. Maximum fields up to 2200 V/m were measured and varied with changing water flows. The ignition of fuel vapor, air, and water mixtures by electrical discharges was studied in a small pressure vessel. When sufficient energy was discharged a spark breakdown was found to ignite an explosion, if the fuel air composition lay inside the explosive range. An isolated statically charged object or an ungrounded person was found to carry enough charge to initiate an explosion. On the other hand, corona discharge of up to several hundred microamps were not incendiary.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Department of Civil Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  USA  02139
  • Authors:
    • Economou, G
  • Publication Date: 1975-9

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131205
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1976 12:00AM