Analysis of Particulate and Chemical Residue Resulting from Exposure to Burning and Abrading Composite Materials
Final technical rept. 1 Jul 2011-31 May 2013
APPLIED RESEARCH ASSOCIATES INC PANAMA CITY FL
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Five tests involving cutting or burning a composite panel were undertaken in order to study the deposition of potentially hazardous particles and chemicals onto fabric samples that occurs during these processes. This was undertaken in order to understand the hazards that first responders may encounter when responding to incidents involving crashed or burning aircraft composed of composite materials. The composite panels tested were typical of material used in current aircraft. Panels were either burned by placing them in a pool of burning military specification jet fuel, or cut with a rescue saw typical of the equipment used by first responders. The fabric samples exposed to these events were materials commonly used on the exterior of protective equipment worn by Air Force firefighters. After exposing the fabric samples, half of the samples were vigorously washed with water to simulate cleaning and decontamination that firefighters might perform on their equipment. Sampling techniques were then employed to remove and study the particulates and chemical residue present on the fabric samples. Of particular interest were carbon fiber fragments, as these can potentially cause lung problems when inhaled, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs, as many of these chemicals are known or suspected carcinogens.
- Laminates and Composite Materials