THE use of liquid oxygen as an oxidizer for various fuels in liquid rocket propellent systems is not new. Professor Goddard used liquid oxygen in his rocket experiments and the well known German V‐2 rockets used this material as an oxidizer. However, its effect on non‐metallic materials ordinarily used in rocket systems was not investigated until recent years. This investigation was prompted by phenomena which had been experienced by rocket engine and rocket aircraft manufacturers and by suppliers of the material. It was observed that when some organic materials came in intimate contact with liquid oxygen they became prone to detonation when subjected to certain impact energies. This was undoubtedly due to the formation of unstable organo‐peroxide compounds which when impacted released high levels of energy resulting in an explosion. Specifically, when liquid oxygen was accidently spilled on asphalt and inadvertently stepped on, the asphalt would often explode. Also, leather gaskets immersed in liquid oxygen and subjected to surge impact detonated with disastrous effects.
Clippinger, D.E. and Morris, G.J. (1959), "Impact Sensitivity of Organic Materials on Exposure to Liquid Oxygen: Results of Tests Conducted in the Materials Laboratory at The Martin Company's Baltimore Division", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 31 No. 7, pp. 204-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb033134
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