Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Tag Archive: gas explosions

  1. Gas Cylinder Leaks: What’s that Odor? Get out quick!

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    Pressurized cylinders filled with various gases are very common, from the propane fuel tank under your barbeque grill to acetylene for welding to fluorine for production of many common products.  A leak from almost any of these can cause damage or significant losses, from a fire to physical injury, or asphyxiation.

    Owner protection against losses and injury can range from nothing to significant, such as storage in ventilated closets or gas detection alarms. In one case the regulator valve on a small CO2 cylinder used in a bar to pressurize beer kegs broke off. The cylinder rocketed around the bar room, causing at least one serious injury. (more…)

  2. Evaluating the Potential for “Victim” Holes Not Caused By Lightning in CSST

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    Prior to becoming a forensic engineer, I spent many years in industry designing fuel gas fired equipment. This included designing gas grills, commercial cooking appliances, and large industrial systems.  I learned a lot about the safe use of natural gas and propane. Once I entered the forensic engineering field, that experience helped me in evaluating fires involving natural gas and propane equipment and piping systems. One such area that I have found particularly interesting are fires involving Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST).

    CSST is a material used to plumb fuel gas inside structures.  It is used as an alternative to traditional black steel pipe or copper tubing. The stainless steel tube of CSST, in certain circumstances, will perforate when subjected to electrical arcing, including that due to local lightning strikes.  The escaping fuel gas from these perforations has obvious implications as to causing fires. (more…)

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