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1999 Edition, January 1, 1999

Complete Document

Fire, Explosion, Compatibility, and Safety Hazards of Hypergols - Hydrazine

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Hydrazine is a colorless, corrosive, strongly reducing liquid compound. Current aerospace applications include its use in the Space Transportation System as a fuel for the auxiliary power units, in satellites as a monopropellant for thrusters, and in jet aircraft as fuel for auxiliary power sources. Although hydrazine is immensely useful in these applications, there are also drawbacks. For example, hydrazine vapor is flammable and detonable; both liquid and vapor hydrazine are corrosive, react with many materials, and are susceptible to catalytic decomposition; and hydrazine is highly toxic. The users and designers of hydrazine systems must be aware of these hazards and safeguard against them.

This AIAA Special Report preserves the text of NASA document RD-WSTF-0002 Rev A, December 17, 1998, "Fire, Explosion, Compatibility, and Safety Hazards of Hydrazine," developed by the NASA White Sands Test Facility for the Propulsion and Power Division of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and the Air Force Space Division. In the interests of technology transfer, custody of the material was assigned to AIAA through of Memorandum of Understanding dated February 1999. One of the purposes of this Memorandum is to provide broader distribution of the valuable information developed and published in the original manual.

The authors of the NASA Revision A manual, dated December 16, 1998 are: Stephen S. Woods, Donald B. Wilson, Dennis D. Davis, Michelle Barragan, Walter Stewart, Radel L. Bunker, and David L. Baker. Authors to the earlier 1990 edition are: Michael D. Pedley, David L. Baker, Harold D. Beeson, Richard C. Wedlich, Frank J. Benz, Radel L. Bunker, and Nathalie B. Martin.

AIAA Special Reports are a part of the AIAA Standards Program and frequently serve as precursors to formal consensus documents. This publication is under the purview of the Liquid Propulsion Committee on Standards, the group responsible for determining the future of the publication and for maintaining it in a technically current state.

The AIAA Standards Procedures provide that all approved standards, recommended practices, and guides are advisory only. Their use by anyone engaged in industry or trade is entirely voluntary. There is no agreement to adhere to any AIAA standards publication and no commitment to conform to or be guided by any standards report. In formulating, revising, and approving standards publications, the Liquid Propulsion Committee on Standards will not consider patents that may apply to the subject matter. Prospective users of the publications are responsible for protecting themselves against liability for infringement of patents, or copyrights, or both.