A Study of the Hazards in the Storage and Handling of Liquid Hydrogen
The need to improve propulsion systems for missiles and space vehicles has focused attention on many fuels and oxidants heretofore not considered practical for such applications. A factor in the earlier rejection of these propellants had been the extreme hazards associated with their use-at least, as revealed in laboratory programs. One of these propellants is liquid hydrogen. Although it has been a laboratory curiosity for years, there was insufficient knowledge of its characteristics to provide a sound basis for many of the design problems faced in its production and use. Its low ignition-energy requirement when mixed with air, its wide limits of flammability, and its known detonation effects under confined conditions made handling and storage hazards appear great. For these reasons, the Air Research and Development Command felt it desirable, before producing liquid hydrogen in large quantity, to initiate a research program to develop realistic safety criteria. Such criteria could bring about substantial savings in the capital equipment costs of production.and storage facilities and could point out safety devices which would prevent major losses. Also a reduction in the required area for a production or storage facility might be. effected, thus decreasing the costs of such facilities.
KeywordsDetonation Wave Storage Tank Liquid Hydrogen Vapor Cloud Development Command
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