FIRE EXPOSURE TESTS OF POLYETHYLENE AND FIFTY-FIVE GALLON STEEL DRUMS LOADED WITH FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS. PHASE II

Tests were conducted to compare the resistance of steel and polyethylene drums to fire exposure. Fire exposures were varied from 90 square foot fires completely engulfing the drum to 25 square foot fires exposed to one side of the drum. Lubricating oil, JP-4 (aviation fuel), and ethyl ether were used in the drums to examine the effects of cargo volatility. The internal pressure, internal temperature, external temperature, temperature at the bung, time to failure, and mode of failure were recorded for each drum tested. The results agree with previous tests. Polyethylene drums fail by melting and collapsing into the fire. Steel drums fail by jetting and/or exploding. The size of the fire had no significant effect on the time to failure for polyethylene drums and an effect could not be determined for steel drums due to inconsistencies in manufacturing. Both types of drums fail within the same length of time when loaded with cargos more volatile than JP-4. The polyethylene drums fail 3 to 4 minutes sooner than steel drums loaded with fuels in the volatility range of JP-4 or lower. (Author)

  • Corporate Authors:

    United States Coast Guard

    Research and Development Center, 1082 Shennecossett Road
    Groton, CT  USA  06340-6096
  • Authors:
    • Richards, R C
    • Munkenbeck, GJJ
  • Publication Date: 1977-8

Media Info

  • Pagination: 102 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00175955
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: USCG-D-86-77 Final Rpt., CGR/DC-20/77
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1978 12:00AM