Saturday, December 02, 2006
Lets face it liquid N2 is fun. From freezing biological matter, to making smoke, having droplet races, or making ice cream, liquid N2 is pretty versatile. It appears you can also make rockets, as this Texan lab was surprised to find out (oh these Texans, always blowing shit up): "The cylinder had been standing at one end of a ~20' x 40' laboratory on the second floor of the chemistry building. It was on a tile covered 4-6" thick concrete floor, directly over a reinforced concrete beam. The explosion blew all of the tile off of the floor for a 5' radius around the tank turning the tile into quarter sized pieces of shrapnel that embedded themselves in the walls and doors of the lab. The blast cracked the floor but due to the presence of the supporting beam, which shattered, the floor held. Since the floor held the force of the explosion was directed upward and propelled the cylinder, sans bottom, through the concrete ceiling of the lab into the mechanical room above. It struck two 3 inch water mains and drove them and the electrical wiring above them into the concrete roof of the building, cracking it. The cylinder came to rest on the third floor leaving a neat 20" diameter hole in its wake. The entrance door and wall of the lab were blown out into the hallway, all of the remaining walls of the lab were blown 4-8" off of their foundations. All of the windows, save one that was open, were blown out into the courtyard." Also, in the same vein, here is why a 230kg liquid N2 tank should not be brought UP the stairs by a summer student. no kidding!
Posted by Anonymous Coward at 2:49 PM