Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Silane Fire and Explosion
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2015 19:39:05 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
While I do not have all of the detail of the explosion it sounds as if it's possibly from polysiloxane byproducts, which are known to be unstable, including pyrophoric and explosive. These products have a history in the semiconductor industry. Anyone using silane should look at the safety procedures followed by the semiconductor industry. The Semiconductor Safety Handbook gives a clue.
Semiconductor Safety Handbook
Safety and Health in the Semiconductor Industry
Edited by:Richard A. Bolmen, Jr.
The third chapter gives a clue:
Copyright =A9 1998 William Andrew Inc. All rights reserved
3. Chemical Hazards in Semiconductor Operations
- Thomas E. Hawkinson
- Daryl B. Korpela
Some materials used in semiconductor operations are highly toxic. Dopant gases such as arsine and phosphine can kill at low concentrations. Corrosives such as hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid and hydrogen peroxide can cause serious damage to eyes and skin. Often they are used in high concentrations at elevated temperatures to increase their efficacy, further aggravating the danger to the worker. By-product materials that must be removed from tooling and fixtures can be carcinogenic, like arsenic. Other products of reaction can be caught in cold traps and cause explosions. The breadth and complexity of the chemistry underlying semiconductor operations merits careful examination and effective worker training. The proper use of engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and knowledge of correct use procedures are imperative in the high-tech, high-energy world of semiconductors.
Reinhard Sidor, ScD
GE Corp. R&D-retired
Sent from my iPad
Silane is SiH4.
SiO2 is silicone dioxide.
Which are we talking about?
From Eugene Ngai, the Silane Guru-
Forwarded by Neal Langerman
FYI. Sunedison Pasadena TX which was formerly MEMC had a silane explosion and fire injuring 4 people. This occurred during a line break. I am trying to get more details. As luck would have it, I'm presenting
on Pyrophoric Materials on Oct 23 at the Hotzone HazMat Conference in Houston.
A month ago in another silane related incident, a user used an industrial vacuum cleaner to vacuum SiO2 particles from a baghouse. This exploded severely burning the worker.. SiO2 particles can develop a significant
charge, in addition some are not fully oxidized.
These are reminders that we all must be careful when handling silane.
Eugene Y. Ngai
Chemically Speaking LLC
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