Evaluation Of High-Pressure Oxygen Systems

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Report Number: AMRL TDR 62-102
Author(s): Baum, J. V., Goobich, B., Trainer, T. M.
Corporate Author(s): Battelle Memorial Inst Columbus Ohio
Laboratory: Life Support Systems Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1962-09
Pages: 94
Contract: AF 33(616)-8267
DoD Project: 6373
DoD Task: 637302
Identifier: AD0289575

A research program was conducted to investigate the relative safety of 7500-psi gaseous oxygen systems when used as a source of breathing oxygen in aerospace vehicles. Experiments were performed to investigate the effects on the system of temperature, vibration, shock, extended stirage, and contamination. Also studied were the effects of high pressure, high velocity flow, and heating due to rapid compression. Evaluation of the results of this program indicates that 7500-psi gaseous oxygen systems can be comparatively safe if proper safety precautions are taken. Under controlled operations, the hazard of explosion because of contamination can be overcome. Stainless steel and Monel alloys were found to be acceptable materials of construction. Teflon and Kel-F compounds appear to be suitable for seals. Hydrocarbons in minute concentrations were found not to be dangerously reactive. Electrostatic charges due to hig-velocity flow were smal, but there was evidence that erosiion could be a serious problem. Although no appreciable chemical reactions occurred during the normal experimental program, it must be realized that controlled laboratory procedures are not widely prevalent. High-pressure oxygen systems must be treated as "new" and representing dangerous, explosive possibilities. It is recommended that further detailed studies of the combustion process be performed. Spontaneous ignittion temperatures for the materials and contaminants considered in this research should be investigated under both static and dynamic conditions. It is recommended that, before high-pressure gaseous oxygen systems be used extensively as are systems at lower pressures, reliability of the system and equipment used for handling the gas be increased through improved equipment design.

Provenance: Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control

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