Monday, March 21, 2005 - 4:10 PM

Evaluation of Jet Fuel Aerosols Using a Rotary Atomizer

Heather D. Willauer1, John B. Hoover1, George W. Mushrush2, and Frederick W. Williams3. (1) Naval Research Laboratory, Research Chemist, 4555 Overlook Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20375, (2) George Mason University, Professor of Chemistry, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, (3) Director, Navy Technology Center for Safety and Survivability, 4555 Overlook Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20375

The fire hazards associated with aircraft jet fuel is a problem the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and industrial manufactures have been addressing for years. Great emphasis has been placed on aircraft design and materials, as well as proper storage and transport procedures. However the most devastating aircraft fuel related fires occur when there is a catastrophic failure of an aircraft wing or jet fuel tank as a result of a ground crash. A rapid release of atomized fuel in the presence of an ignition source, during such an event, can produce highly intense fires and explosions that greatly reduce post crash survivability.

Our laboratory is focusing on a series of additives to jet fuel that rely on their chemical structure and composition to reduce fuel ignitability by increasing fuel droplet size during a wing tank failure. An automated rotary atomizer has been developed to produce fuel aerosols and measure their mist flammability characteristics. This presentation will discuss the ability to evaluate jet fuel aerosols as a function of rotary disk speed and chemical additive concentration.