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A Catalyst Fusible Link for Hydrogen Detection and Activation of Passive Ventilation Systems


This paper presents an experimental study of a hydrogen fusible link developed for use in the detection of hydrogen and in the activation of passive ventilation or other safety systems. Fusible links are commonly used to passively close fire dampers in the event of a fire; they generally consist of two pieces of metal joined together by a low temperature alloy to form a single device. When exposed to fire, the link will heat up and eventually melt the alloy, causing the metal pieces to separate. The same principle has been adopted for the hydrogen fusible link in which hydrogen recombiner catalyst was coated onto small rectangular brass plates. These plates were then soldered together to create prototypes of the hydrogen fusible link. When the resulting link is exposed to a hydrogen-air mixture, an exothermic reaction occurs on the catalyst surface that will heat up the link and melt the solder, separating the two sections of the hydrogen fusible link. A series of experiments was performed to characterize the thermal response of the hydrogen fusible links to various hydrogen-air mixtures. The effect of both hydrogen concentration and its rate of accumulation on the increase of catalyst temperature was examined. This study demonstrated the applicability of the hydrogen fusible link for managing hydrogen risk.

Funding source: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, under the auspices of the Federal Nuclear Science and Technology Program.
Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Canada

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