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Methane Ignition by Frictional Impact Between Aluminum Alloys and Rusted Steel.

Desy-DH; Neumeier-LA; Risbeck-JS
NTIS: PB 240 838 :30 pages
The Bureau of Mines has conducted research on the ignition of methane-air mixtures by sparks caused by frictional impact of aluminum alloys on rusted steel at typical coal mine fan speeds. The objectives were to establish the incendivity of aluminum alloys under these conditions, to investigate differences between aluminum alloys, and to evaluate substitute materials for the aluminum-steel combination. With a specially designed apparatus, three commercial aluminum casting alloys and a number of experimental aluminum alloys were tested for incendivity of the frictional impact against rusted steel in flammable methane-air mixtures. All aluminum alloys tested produced some ignitions. Of the experimental alloys, the harder alloys and those containing silicon tended to be more incendive than the others. With the normal experimental conditions, constructional steel, stainless steel, brass, and plastic did not cause ignition of methane-air mixtures in frictional impact against rusted steel. Some ignitions occurred with constructional steel at high speed in more flammable gas mixtures enriched with oxygen. From these findings, it is suggested that constructional material combinations other than the aluminum-steel combination would minimize this incendive hazard. A detailed description is given of previous research, and comparison is made with present results where appropriate.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigation;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 8005
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 240 838
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division