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An Explosion of a CNG Fuel Vessel in an Urban Bus

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An investigation is presented of the explosion of a CNG (compressed natural gas) fuel vessel, called a liner, in an urban bus. The explosion happened at a gas station 10 min after filling was completed. There were no traces of soot and flames at the failed liner, which would be indicative of explosion by ignition of the gas. The filling process of the station was automatically monitored and recorded in a computer. There was no unusual record of the filling system that indicated excess pressure at the time of the accident. There were cracks on the liner that were initiated at the outer surface of the cylindrical shell located at a point 4 cm above the lower dome where cracks did not originate easily as a result of overload. Chemical analysis was performed on a specimen that was cut from the liner, and there was no peculiarity in the mix. Mechanical analysis was performed on the specimens and showed that the hardness was not in the specified range because of inadequate heat treatment of the metal. The hardness of the liner was strictly controlled in the manufacturing process. All the liners that were manufactured at the same period with the failed liner were recalled for examination.
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Keywords: CNG vessel; forensic science; hardness; heat treatment; liner

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Physical Engineering, Central District Office of National Institute of Scientific Investigation, Daejeon 305-348, Korea. 2: Division of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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