Fire Resistant Fuel
SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INST SAN ANTONIO TX TARDEC FUELS AND LUBRICANTS RESEARCH FACILITY
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During an Army research program in the mid-1980s, fireresistant diesel fuel that self extinguished when ignited by an explosive projectile was developed. Chemically, this fire resistant fuel FRF was a stable mixture of diesel fuel, 10 percent water, and an emulsifier. The Army FRF program ended in 1987 without fielding this fire resistant fuel formulation. There were both technical and logistical reasons for this. Unconventional warfare experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan involving use of Improvised Explosive Devices IED has led the Army to restart the FRF program in an attempt to counter the increasing threat of fuel fires. Efforts are now underway to develop new Fire Resistant Fuel to reduce andor eliminate both the initial mist fireball and any residual pool burning. Vehicle operation and environmental conditions commonly cause the temperature of the fuel in the vehicles to rise above its flash point, thus making it more susceptible to being ignited. This elevated fuel temperature, when combined with an ignition source such as a ballistic penetration near the fuel tank or fuel line, significantly increases the potential for a catastrophic fuel fire. This paper will discuss some of the aspects and limitations of developing a fire resistant fuel water emulsion and how the use of JP-8, as intended by the single fuel forward concept, affects this development.
- Safety Engineering
- Ammunition and Explosives