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Metal Structured Packing Fires


Metal structured packing fires represent a unique and poorly understood hazard. While a rare occurrence, the potential for capital damage and injury to personnel as a result of such fires is extremely high. Since metal is not often thought of as a combustible material, the risks associated with structured packing fires are magnified by a lack of appreciation and understanding of the risk of packing ignition involved in maintenance activities in an industrial separation tower.

This training module discusses the possible causes of metal structured packing fires and methods for preventing and suppressing metal fires taken from industrial experience. The module contains brief descriptions of actual incidents involving packing fires as well as questions intended for class discussion.

The module contains a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation with notes that would be appropriate for class presentation or independent study and a report on the topic. This training module is appropriate for a separations, process safety, or senior design class.


Mark T. Roberts (Texas A&M University)


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