Hanau Accidents

In October 1991, the Heraeus Quarzglas company, an optical fiber production firm in Hanau, Germany, suffered a hydrogen vapor cloud explosion. A 100 m3 storage tank containing 370 kg of hydrogen gas burst about 35 minutes after being refilled. The following vapor cloud explosion caused property damage and (fortunately) only a few personnel injuries. The tank had suffered a structural failure. Investigation revealed that the tank had been modified to position it vertically. Tank welds experienced increased tension because of the modification. Other reasons that reduced the tank lifetime, thus helped cause the tank to fail, were material fatigue, and hydrogen-induced aging [231].

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