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Recent Reports

Title: Flammability of Hydrogen at Sub-Atmospheric Pressures and Reduced Oxygen Concentrations
Author: Steven J. Rehn

Prototype aircraft are currently being built and tested that rely on hydrogen fuel cells to provide power for their electrical demands, and some even use hydrogen to power the entire aircraft. The problem with hydrogen is that it is extremely flammable and has never been used in this capacity before. Therefore, the flammability of hydrogen was tested from the pressure at sea level up to 40,000 feet in a 20 L vessel. The lower and upper flammability limits were found first and compared with previous data. Then, peak explosion pressure was found across all flammable hydrogen and oxygen concentrations. The oxygen concentration started from the concentration found in air and was reduced by adding nitrogen. These tests were performed up to the point where the limiting oxygen concentration was reached for each altitude. In general, as the altitude increased, the limits of flammability for hydrogen and oxygen widened, and the peak explosion pressures decreased.

Report: DOT/FAA/TC-TT14/36 Pages: 65 Size: 1 MB
Title: Thermal Acoustic Insulation Contamination Research
Author: R.G.W. Cherry & Associates Limited

This report summarizes the research work carried out on behalf of Transport Canada and the UK Civil Aviation Authority into the potential threat that might exist from contaminated thermal acoustic insulation materials). The research has been conducted in the light of related activities carried out by the industry which are also described or referenced in this report. The study is based on data analysis, literature searches, aircraft surveys, consultation with the industry, and flammability testing carried out on a test rig developed especially for this study.

This report addresses the nature of contaminants found on thermal acoustic insulation on in-service airplanes, the potential fire threat that they might present, and the actions taken by the industry to mitigate these threats. The report also makes ten recommendations aimed at improving the resistance of the airplane to hidden fires that might be fueled by contaminants.

Report: DOT/FAA/TC-14/24 Pages: 114 Size: 1.75 MB
Title: A Study on the Quality Control Process of Fire Extinguishing and Suppression Agents
Author: R.G.W. Cherry & Associates Limited

Inadequate quality control of fire extinguishing and suppression agents may affect airworthiness through a reduction in fire protection capability, or pose a hazard to personnel where contaminated extingusihants are toxic.

Transport Canada, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority requested a study be carried out to review the processes used in North America and Europe for the quality control of agents in fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems. This report reflects the outcome of the study and contains recommendations for optimized processes for consideration by the airworthiness authorities and industry.

Report: DOT/FAA/TC-14/6 Pages: 41 Size: 203 KB