Technical Reports

Handbook for Vent and Burn Method of Field Product Removal

  • 01
  • May
  • 1994
AUTHOR: Henry L. Cox, Edward S. Parker, Jeffery C. Davis
SUBJECT: Hazardous Materials
KEYWORDS: Tank Cars, Emergency Response, Explosives, Shaped Charges
ABSTRACT: The Federal Railroad Administration tasked the Association of American Railroads (AAR), Transportation Test Center Hazardous Materials Training Center (TTC) to research and develop safe, reliable operating procedures for the Vent and Bum method of field product removal, and to define when or if this procedure should be used in the event of tank car derailments involving hazardous materials. The Vent and Bum procedure uses explosive charges to cut holes in the damaged tank car to relieve internal vapor pressure and subsequently drain the liquid product from the car for destruction. Vent and Bum is inherently dangerous and other methods of field product removal or car rerailment must be considered first. This procedure is applicable to some compressed gases and some flammable or combustible liquids shipped in pressure or general service tank cars. This handbook describes the Vent and Bum procedure in a step-wise manner. It is intended to help emergency responders to understand the procedure, its limitations, inherent risks and the application principles of this method. The emergency explosives expert responder can use this handbook as a guide to apply explosive charges onto the car for successful results. The proposed hole cutting technique described in this handbook has been proven by testing at AAR/TTC. Please refer to DOT/FRA/ORD/94-17 for detailed experimental results