Linseed Oil - Spontaneous Combustion

Spontaneous Combustion

Rags soaked with linseed oil stored in a pile are considered a fire hazard because they provide a large surface area for oxidation of the oil, and the oil oxidizes quickly. The oxidation of linseed oil is an exothermic reaction, which accelerates as the temperature of the rags increases. When heat accumulation exceeds the rate of heat dissipation into the environment, the temperature increases and may eventually become hot enough to make the rags spontaneously combust.

In 1991, One Meridian Plaza, a high rise in Philadelphia was severely damaged and three firefighters perished in a fire caused by linseed oil-soaked rags. An apartment in Sacramento also caught fire due to the spontaneous combustion of linseed oil-soaked rags.

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Famous quotes containing the words combustion and/or spontaneous:

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