This technical note summarizes a technical comparison of common testing procedures, as well as reviewed of the UN Test N` 5, for the assessment of the self-heating properties of cargoes and materials that has shown a clear trend on maritime fire and explosions events, as well as considering of external factors that can combine self-heating and emit flammable gases to conclude in an unlikely event affecting the security of crews and ships. A high understanding of the external factors effect on the cargo materials certainly will help the application of spontaneous reactions management actions (SRMA) on board of ships during the cargo sea passage. The intended comparison is based on laboratory, industry and field observations and data, whereas the among the external factors considered are, moisture content, stockpile procedure and aging, air velocities and moderate pressures internal and externally to the cargo material. The comparison results have shown that the self-heating and the flammable gas emissions has a common pattern when reacting with any oxygen available source, regardless the reactive material chemical composition.
Keywords: reactive materials, self-heating, self-ignition, direct reduced iron fines, materials handling, UN test N` 5, maritime safety, spontaneous reactions, risk management. IMSBC Code , IMO.
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