POL SAFETY: POL SAFETY Army Aviation Support Facility #1
Phoenix, Arizona Lesson Objective: Lesson Objective To give aircrew members an understanding of the criticality of fuel handling, particularly fuel hazards and safety precautions
References: FM 10-67-1 Petroleum Fire And Explosion Hazards: Petroleum Fire And Explosion Hazards The primary danger while handling petroleum is the chance of a fire or explosion. The slides below describe petroleum properties affecting flammability and explosive characteristics. They also discuss issues and techniques related to reducing the chance of fire and explosion when storing and handling petroleum products. Important Terms and Definitions: Important Terms and Definitions Flash Point
Autoignition Temperature Flash Point: Flash Point A fuel’s flash point is the lowest temperature the fuel’s vapor will catch fire momentarily (flash) when exposed to a flame. The lower a fuel’s flash point, the more dangerous it is. Some sample flash points are: JP-4, -10° F; and JP-8, 100° F. These flash points show that fuels give off ignitable vapors at temperatures normally found in Army units. Aviation-related fuels can ignite even in sub-zero temperatures. Explosive Range: Explosive Range Petroleum vapor and air may form a range of mixtures that are flammable, and possibly explosive. This range is called the mixture’s "flammability limit," "explosive range," or "explosive limit."
A mixture in the explosive range ignites when it contacts a spark, flame, or other ignition source. In open spaces, this causes an intense fire.
Any mixture above 8 percent by volume of fuel vapor does not ignite because it is too "rich." This is known as the mixture’s upper explosive limit. Explosive Range (cont’d): Explosive Range (cont’d) A mixture less than 1 percent by volume of fuel vapor does not ignite because it is too "lean." This is known as the mixture’s lower explosive limit. A mixture’s lower explosive limit is formed at about the product’s flash point.
Explosive ranges vary among fuel types.
The KEY POINT is an empty or nearly empty petroleum tank or container is still very dangerous due to remaining fuel vapors.
Electrostatic Susceptibility: Electrostatic Susceptibility This is the relative degree a fuel will take on or build up a static electrical charge. Aviation peculiar fuels (JP-8 in particular) have relatively high electro static susceptibilities. This multiplies the danger of these highly volatile, flammable fuels. Autoignition Temperature: Autoignition Temperature This is the lowest temperature a fuel itself (as opposed to its vapor) will catch fire spontaneously.
Some sample autoignition temperatures are: JP-4, 470° to 480° F; JP-8, 440° to 475° F.
Low autoignition temperatures present a particular hazard in aviation refueling operations. Autoignition Temperature (cont’d): Autoignition Temperature (cont’d) An idling turbine engine (such as a helicopter engine) produces an exhaust with a temperature between 440° to 475° F. Even after the engine is shut down, its temperature stays in this range for quite a time. If this engine temperature radiates to JP-8, the fuel could catch fire or explode. This could happen if a helicopter exhaust blows on a piece of refuel equipment or a fuel handler drags a hose across a hot engine.
FUEL FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARDS : FUEL FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARDS Jet Fuel: Jet Fuel Jet fuel flammability characteristics vary with fuel grade.
Follow the same safety precautions when handling all jet fuels.
JP-4 presents the most extreme safety hazard. JP-4 is still used in some areas.
JP-8 is very dangerous because it forms explosive mixtures over all normal storage and operating temperatures. It also creates large quantities of static electricity when pumped and handled. Precautions for Storing and Handling Jet Fuels : Precautions for Storing and Handling Jet Fuels Use as small a storage tank as necessary to support the mission. When using hard wall storage tanks, avoid shallow tanks with large surface areas for jet fuel storage. If available, use floating roof storage tanks.
Do not use overhead fill lines that permit product free-fall.
Keep air out of fill lines.
Use water bottoms in fixed tanks only when absolutely necessary. When using water bottoms, keep inlet connections above the water to reduce agitation. Water with entrained air rising through fuel creates a static electricity charge. Bubbles bursting on the fuel surface also create static electricity.
When pumping fuel, you should pump at a reduced flow rate until the fuel submerges the tank inlet. Also reduce the pumping rate when the fuel level is near the tank top to reduce the risk of flashover to parts of the roof.
Continually check bonding and grounding connections. Take special care to bond and ground gauging and sampling equipment properly.
Petroleum Safety Precautions: Petroleum Safety Precautions Petroleum Safety Precautions: Petroleum Safety Precautions FUEL PROPERTIES AND BEHAVIOR AFTER COMBUSTION: FUEL PROPERTIES AND BEHAVIOR AFTER COMBUSTION Heat of Combustion : Heat of Combustion One relative measure of fire intensity or severity is the amount of heat produced as the fuel burns. Aviation peculiar fuels such as JP-4 and JP-8 have higher heats of combustion than multipurpose or motor fuels. Therefore, they produce more severe fires. In any case, all petroleum fires are intense. They require prompt action to quench the large amounts of heat they produce. Flame Spread Rate: Flame Spread Rate Aviation fuels containing gasoline and kerosene mixtures (JET B, JP-4) have flame spread rates of from 700 to 800 feet per minute.
Kerosene-based fuels (JP-5, JP-8, Jet A-1, DF-2) have flame spread rates of approximately 100 feet per minute.
Flame spread through a mist of any fuel type is nearly instantaneous. Specific Gravity: Specific Gravity Specific gravity is a relative measure of liquid density.
Water’s specific gravity is 1.0.
All petroleum products have a specific gravity less than 1.0.
JP-4’s specific gravity is .78. This means they are lighter than water and will float on any water surface.
Using water to put out a petroleum fire will cause it to spread as petroleum is carried along on the water stream flowing away from the fire. For this reason, use foams or dry chemicals, if possible, to put out petroleum fires. STATIC ELECTRICITY : STATIC ELECTRICITY Static Electricity: Static Electricity Static electricity is an electrical charge built up in a material by friction with another electrically dissimilar material.
The flow of petroleum through hoses and pumps and into and out of metal tanks produce static electricity.
Aircraft or vehicles moving through the air or along roads produce static electrical buildup on them.
Static electricity discharge can be prevented by two methods: bonding and grounding. Bonding: Bonding Bonding is connecting two electrically conductive objects to equalize electrical potential (static charges) on them.
Bonding does not dissipate static electricity.
It equalizes the charge on the two objects to stop the sparking in the presence of flammable vapors.
Bond all equipment being used in a petroleum handling operation. Grounding: Grounding To ground equipment, you must provide a conductive electrical path into the ground.
This prevents a static charge from collecting on the surfaces of equipment where it could discharge as a spark.
The connection to the equipment must be to a clean unpainted, nonoxidized metal surface. BONDING AND GROUNDING DURING AIRCRAFT REFUELING: BONDING AND GROUNDING DURING AIRCRAFT REFUELING Bonding is the only static electricity control measure required for the aircraft itself during refueling. The refueling system must be grounded. Also, grounding at a separate grounding point and bonding are required for support equipment connected to the aircraft and for any other operations requiring electrical earthing. QUIZ: QUIZ Click on the link below to access the
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