Re: Fuel Tank Safety

Organization: Earthlink Network, Inc.
Date:         Sat, 29 Mar 1997 06:32:49 GMT
References:   1
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On Wed, 12 Mar 1997 05:36:07 GMT, (Malcolm
Hopkins) wrote:

>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

Not a very accurate demonstration.

This can be done at any time, depending on the temperature and
altitude you are at, plus the type of fuel (Jet A has different
proerties from JP-8).  The fuel is not what burns, its the vapor just
above the fuel and it can only sustain combustion within a give set of

[Moderator's note: The same demonstration is possible with an open
bucket of gasoline, which is vastly more flammable than any
kerosene-based fuel, on a summer day in the SoCal desert.  The trick
is to flick the match into the gas quickly.  Don't try this at home;
one of my friends had to regrow both eyelashes and eyebrows when he
was too slow.  MFS]