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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 2:50 am 
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Joined: Sep 02, 2009 10:24 am
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Luke Moylan wrote:
Well that's good to know. I have heard of incidents where steel has burned in air on ships, so I can't imagine what was burning to get the steel to that temperature! I read previously about the experiments on graphite, so that's a plus as well. I think it's a common misconception that graphite has the same combustion temperature as coal.

If you were writing a paper on 2-fluid LFTR safety, do you have any papers you would reference that I could use in my paper?


Are you sure about ships?

I remember they "discovered" in the Falklands War that Aluminium super structures could burn, which was a problem on the newer ships. One of the older ships happily survived a direct hit from an Exocet - as did a few oil tankers at various times in the Gulf.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 3:11 am 
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I did an internship with an international ship fit-out organisation.

The principal thermal design engineer showed me a couple of photos of where a ship hull had actually burned, as in caught on fire and sustained itself! haha. Unfortunately it was just a passing thing, and I can't remember the context of our conversation, or what caused the fire.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 3:26 am 
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Joined: Jul 28, 2008 10:44 pm
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I know that finely ground steel (as in steel wool) can sustain a fire but I have a hard time with the idea that steel plate could sustain a fire. Are you sure there wasn't some external fuel (an oil tank or some such) fueling the fire and the fire got hot enough to burn the steel?


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 4:24 am 
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The aluminium fires aboard the escorts that sustained direct missile hits had little impact on the survival of the vessel.
The primary issues were the fires got so hot that the ship's aluminium superstructure and steel hulls both lost sufficient strength to lead to complete structural failure.

The aluminium fires were incidental.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 6:15 am 
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Aluminium plate does not burn. This is a tenacious myth. An odd one since you can test it out yourself. Take an aluminium plate. Throw it in a big bonfire. Doesn't burn. It can melt but still won't burn in air even when molten. The oxide layer is just too protective.

Most ships will burn because they have loads of diesel or fuel oil. That's not easy to ignite but once you get it going with something more flammable as a "spark" it can sustain combustion and get pretty hot. Aluminium will weaken quickly with temperature so it collapses easily. Then it can look as though it has burned, when in fact it has just collapsed.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 10:37 am 
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Thanks Cyril, that makes a lot more sense to me.


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