This investigation studied the capability of frictional sparking from the impact of zinc anodes, aluminum, steel and stainless steel on ship steel plate from heights simulating the tank height on mammoth tankers, and determined if these sparks were also capable of igniting a flammable vapor-air mixture as might be found in these same crude oil tanks. Standardized test conditions included a 2' by 3' fabricated steel drum housing an impact plate positioned at a near optimum spark producing angle of 45 deg and a chute 78 ft above the impact point. A homogeneous saturated atmosphere of n-heptane was maintained throughout the drum assembly for ignition ease. Sparks and ignition from impacting were verified by a camera positioned in a mixing port close to the impact point. Successful sparking and ignition occurred with the impacting of zinc anode steel on dry ship steel but nether occurred when the plate was wetted and smeared with crude oil. Zinc impacting failed to produce sparking as did those of magnesium-free aluminum, although aluminum can produce sparking when the plate is rusty. Sparking was photographed from the impacting of stainless steel, steel and typically used tools, but no ignition occurred as a result of these three.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Standard Oil of California

  • Authors:
    • Starkey, W J
  • Publication Date: 1970-5-15

Media Info

  • Pagination: 30 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00043961
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Mine Safety Appliances Research Corporation
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 4 1973 12:00AM