A Review of Recent Lightning-Related Magazine Deflagrations,
NAVAL SURFACE WEAPONS CENTER DAHLGREN VA
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This paper reviews the similarities between the above-ground magazine deflagration of 12 July 1985 at the Naval Surface Weapons Center, Dahlgren, Virginia and those of 22 February 1979 and 13 September 1984 at Lake City Ammunition Plant CLAAP. Missouri. Subsequent investigation of the incidents concluded that each was the result of a lightning discharge. In each case, lightning was in the area but in none of the cases was a direct discharge in the immediate area confirmed by an eyewitness. LeverPak fiberboard drums were being stored in each of the magazines that deflagrated. In the Dahlgren incident, it was concluded that the fire originated in an area in which a majority of LeverPaks were stored. Navy LeverPak drums were subjected to both direct and radiated ESE impulses with peak voltages of up to 400kV. Army WeatherPak drums were subjected to similar radiated ESD impulses. Test results suggest that internal arcing was fuzing the top and bottom chimes to the aluminum vapor barrier. This arcing could ignite any flammable vapors or explosives dusts that may be in the vicinity of the arc.
- Ammunition and Explosives
- Combustion and Ignition
- Safety Engineering