Personnel Protection Equipment for Use with Laser Chemicals
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION LAS CRUCES NM WHITE SANDS TEST FACILITY
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The NASA White Sands Test facility WSTF recently built the fluid distribution system for the Armys High Energy Laser System Test Facility HELSTF. As part of the effort, WSTF personnel were required to activate the fluorine system. To insure adequate personnel protection during the fluorine system activation, a project was undertaken to evaluate and qualify personnel protection equipment to be used during the activation passivation activity. Previous work in the late 60s and early 70s showed that very few materials were totally satisfactory for use with fluorine. Little if any work has been done to measure the degree of protection afforded against either fluorine gas or hydrofluoric acid HF, the principal residual reactive material. Two general types of tests were conducted to evaluate materials. These were 1 fluorine and HF gas permeation tests, and 2 high velocity fluorine gas impingement tests. The gas permeation tests were designed to exposure one side of the material to the gas at concentrations of up to 27 F2 or 1.5 HF in designed to expose one side of the material to the gas at concentrations of up to 27 F2 or 1.5 HF in GN2 with a gas purge on the opposite side leading to the detection system. The tests showed that all of the materials tested which included ILC Dover Chloropel, glove materials - Neoprene, Viton, leather, butyl rubber, face shield materials, etc., where neither permeated by HF at a 1200 ppm level nor by F2 in GN2 at concentrations as high as 27 by volume. The gas impingement tests were designed to represent a high pressure gas leak or the cracking of a B-nut on a system containing residual fluorine gas.
- Protective Equipment