Fire Hazard From Static Electricity During Fueling Operations 1948


Low-conductivity liquids, such as jet fuel, become electrostatically charged while flowing through fuel systems. This can produce enough electrical energy to cause ignition, fire, or explosion of the fuel-air mixtures above the liquid fuel surface. The mechanism of electrostatic charge generation is very complex, with many variables that can increase or decrease the amount of electrical energy in fuel itself. Although generation of static electricity and stray currents
can be reduced, they cannot be completely eliminated. To further reduce the hazard of a possible spark discharge, static charges can be greatly reduced by proper grounding or bonding techniques. For more information, go to . This is clipped from the 1948 film The Chemistry of Fire from the US War Department. The film describes chemical processes occurring during combustion, using many interesting demonstrations: describes the vaporization of burning articles, demonstrates flash and fire points of various substances, describes how phosphorus burns, oxygen requirements for burning, the operation of an oxy-acetylene torch, and the perils of gasoline vapor, explains ignition temperatures, shows fires caused by static electricity, combustion, bomb explosions, shrapnel piercing fuel lines, and ignition of paint and bedding, describes the use of carbon dioxide, steam, and foam to extinguish fires, fires are extinguished by high-pressure streams of water, by immersion in water, and by flooding. The entire 45 minutes film is available at the US National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

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