Some of you might have seen a video of a safety demo that I did this week that went terribly wrong. I am ashamed that I ignored some deviations and continued to do my silane demo that I have done many times in the past without incident. With almost 100 people watching I had an uncontrolled silane vent/fire of 1600 psig that torched my Nomex coveralls, hood and faceshield. This 15 sec event seemed like 20 minutes as I desperately tried to shutoff the flow. The 3 ft flame was at the cylinder valve and the radiant heat was intense as I reached for the alternate shutoff valve, I was worried that the aluminum nitrogen purge cylinder was going to explode due to the heat. My PPE saved me from burns. I was fortunate to have turned and ducked as the flames came over my head at one point.
I have been campaigning for silane safety for more than 10 years and yet I ignored some basic rules. 44 years of handling silane under many conditions and still I was so stupid. God saved me for another day
Luck should not be part of the safety program
Chemically Speaking LLC
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