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Probability of Resistive Spark Ignition Caused by Very Low Currents
  • Published Date:
    1/1/1987
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Probability of Resistive Spark Ignition Caused by Very Low Currents
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  • Description:
    The Bureau of Mines has empirically determined ignition probability versus current for resistive circuits in an 8.3% methane-air atmosphere. Simple ignition probability, defined as the number of ignitions divided by the total number of sparks, was determined, and the corresponding currents were recorded. The experiment was designed to minimize the probability of not observing an ignition that should occur during a series of tests. For resistive circuits in 8.3% methane-air mixtures, the experimental results indicate that ignition was not achieved below 2,000 rnA at 20 V dc, 350 rnA at 30 V dc, 150 rnA at 40 V dc, and 175 rnA at 50 V dc. The simple probability of ignition corresponding to these currents is esti-mated to be, respectively, 1.0 x 10-6, 1.7 x 10-7, 3.0 x 10-7, and 1.0 x 10-5 The ignition mechanism seems to break down below this point, implying that a threshold current value exists below which spark ignition does not occur.

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