Fire at Shenandoah Industrial Rubber Company

Two workers were severely burned at an industrial tank lining facility in Roanoke, Virginia. We developed a computer model to determine regions where combustion could have occurred during contact cement application. This two fluid, gravity stratified, computational fluid dynamics model of hydrocarbon vapor formation was verified with smoke experiments conducted in the actual plant. The results ruled out ignition from an overhead heater pilot or exhaust fan blade/shroud contact as claimed. The ignition source was demonstrated to be within the tank, where a cigarette lighter was found.

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