442208 Utilizing Accelerating Rate Calorimetry for Insulation Fire Hazard Identification and Management

Monday, April 11, 2016: 6:11 PM
Exhibit Hall E (George R. Brown )
Steve Horsch, Reactive Chemicals, The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, TX and Marabeth Holsinger, Reactive Chemicals, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI

Auto-oxidation of process fluids may occur as a result of a leak or spill on insulation. Consequently, this can result in smoldering or fires, even when the initial temperature of the fluid is well below its autoignition temperature. The primary cause of an insulation fire is that heat gains from oxidation of the absorbed material on the high surface area of the insulation exceed any heat losses via conductive or convective cooling. Since closed cell insulation systems are very expensive, it is important to evaluate the most appropriate and cost-effective insulation system. This paper will outline a calorimetric and kinetic modeling approach to predict the Temperature of No Return (TNR) for a given thickness of insulation. The data will aid in determining the best type of insulation system and development of safe operating discipline to prevent insulation fires.

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