Re: Fuel Tank Safety

From:         m.hopkins@niwa.cri.nz (Malcolm Hopkins)
Organization: National Institute of Water and Atmosphere, New Zealand
Date:         Wed, 12 Mar 1997 05:36:07 GMT
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Some years ago I read an article about a product (of U.S.A. origin I
think) called "EXPLOSAFE" that had a very impressive performance and
took up a similar volume as the foam , if remember correctly. It was
also featured in a television program showing its potential in motor
racing and marine marine environments.

Explosafe was a like expanded aluminium sheet albeit extremely thin,
it was folded back and forth to fill up a fuel tank (during
construction). It was also able to be retrofitted to existing fuel
tanks by cutting a suitable access hole. I believe it work through
rapid heat dissipation therby making it near impossible to sustain
combustion.

The demonstration showed the dropping of lighted matches into various
fuel tanks partially filled (their most dangerous condition I believe)
with petrol with no explosion or fire. Of course if the tank was
ruptured the leaking fuel would sustain a fire but not result in an
explosion.

I would have thought this would have been perfect for aircraft use as
it can apparently be cut and stacked to fit almost any shape of fuel
tank.

I am in no way associated with this product or even know who
manufactures it or if it is still available.

Malcolm Hopkins