Fire testing of 55 gallon metal waste drums for dry waste storage
Safety, and Health, and administeredby the WestinghouseHartfordCompany. The primary goal of this project was to provide information on the fire performance of 55 gallon metal waste drums used for dry waste storage in DepartmentOf Energyfacilities. Six tests were conductedusing three different types of drums. In the first test an empty 55 gallon steel drum was heated according to the ASTM E119 time temperature curve. In the remaining test various drum configurations were exposed to a 6 foot
... terpool fire. Each drum was fiUedwith 10kilograms of class "A" combustibles. During the tests internal pressures and temperatures were monitored. Failureof the lid seals occurredin all of the drumsearlyin the tests. Hot combustible gases ventedfrom each drumand ignited. In three teststhe lids blew off the drumsejecting some of the materialfromthe drums. , Results from these tests showed that heat transferthrough the drum side wall is almost unimpeded. Failure of lid seals will allow release of any toxic and/orradioactivematerialsand smoke contained in the drums. . Completelid failure will expel materialfromthe drumsand intensify the f'h-'e. These results alSO indicate that small f'nesin high bay storage areas will cause drum failures before sprinklers are activated. Introduction: The primary goal of this test program was to conduct aseries of fire test to provide informationon the fire performance of 55 gallon metal waste drums used for solid waste disposal at Department Of Energy (DOE) facilities. This program was limited in focus to three different types of 55 gallon drums, one radiant heat source, and one specific f'uesize. The initial test was a single empty 55 gallon drum exposed to a a, standard ASTM E-119 time temperature curve for over 10minutes. The full scale tests involvedmetal drums exposed to a 6' diameter flammable liquid fire for a prescribed period of time. The drums contained simulated dry waste materials of primarily class A combustibles.The test results showed that a conventional 55 gallon drum with a 1" bung would blow its lid consistently. Information on typical drum contents was obtained from Rocky Flats and Westinghouse Hanford. Project Plan: The initial test in the series involveda representativeempty 55 gallon waste drum. This drum was instrumented and exposed to the ASTM E-119 time temperaturecurve to evaluate and documentits fire performance.The objective of this test was to characterize a drum'sfire performancein accordancewith a standard large scale test. The environment provided by an ASTM E-119 time temperature curve is that of a flashed over (fully involved) room. Utilizing 55 gallon metal drums representative of those used throughout the DOE complex for hazardous materialstorage, 3-4 drums per test were loaded with contents simulating what would be expected in hazardous materials drums. These drums were of varying types (i.e., sealed, vented, polyethylenelined, and over packed). The drums were identified so that a f'ue performancematrix based on type and contents could be developed. The f'treexposure was based on a probable scenario involving a flammable liquid spill. Each drum combination was evaluated from two duplicate full-scale experiments. Testing was conducted in theLLNL Fire Test Cell. All the drums were instrumentedto monitor internal pressures and temperatures. Temperature datawas also collected on the furnace and flammableliquid exposure fires. Ventilation through the Test Cell was configuredwith a low inlet, directed at the base of the f'ues,and a high outlet. Airflow was in excess of 3000 CFM. Exhaust gases were monitored for 02, CO2, CO and HC concentrations. All tests were documented by videotape as well as 35mm still photography. Attachment 1 contains plots of all the data collected from each test.