Koenen Test Appartus

Safety Management Services, Inc. (SMS) manufactures the Koenen Test apparatus for clients who require in-house testing to determine the sensitivity of solid and liquid material to intense heat while under confinement. Data obtained from the Koenen test can be used in determining a substance’s shipping classification and for evaluating the degree of venting required to avoid an explosion during processing operations.

This test uses a non-reusable open-ended flanged steel tube, reusable closing device with an orifice through which gases are vented, industrial propane cylinder, four burners, and a protective welded box.

For the test, a substance is loaded into a flanged steel tube and a threaded collar is slipped onto the tube from below. A closing plate with orifice, through which the gases from the decomposition of the test substance escape, is fitted over the flanged tube and secured with a nut. The tube assembly is suspended between two rods in a heating and protective device. Heating is provided by four (4) propane burners that are lit simultaneously.

The test is completed upon rupture of the tube or after heating the tube for a minimum of 5 minutes with no reaction. After each trial, the fragments of the tube, if any, are collected and weighed. The reaction is evaluated as an explosion if the tube is fragmented into three (3) or more pieces.
Examples of Koenen Explosive Effect Types
SMS provides the Koenen Test Apparatus with several enhanced safety features that are invaluable to the safety of test personnel:

  • Centralized Operator Control Box for remote operation capability. Operator Control Box is equipped with (a) a lockout key, (b) fail-close switch required for test startup, and (c) indicator lights for remotely monitoring the status of each burner. The cabling to the Operator Control Box is provided for remote operation of up to 50 feet. Longer cabling is available.
  • Minimal explosive contamination hazards to personnel during cleanup and decontamination of the protective device through safety-by-design. The protective device has (a) no blind holes, (b) no metal threads in areas that can easily become contaminated by explosives, (c) full penetration welds in all possible areas, and (d) no cracks or crevices where explosives may build up over time. Threaded pieces outside the normal areas of potential contamination are plastic and replaceable.
  • Independent ignition systems for each propane burner that, upon loss of flame at any burner, provide automatic try-for-re-ignition and shutdown/lockout of propane after 10 seconds of flameout.
  • Remote propane supply cylinder can be removed to a safe location, distanced from the test apparatus and potentially generated fragments.
  • Optional stainless steel burners are available for applications where strong oxidizing materials may have an adverse reaction with the standard brass burners.

Additionally, the Koenen Test Apparatus includes the following design features:

  • Spark electrodes located exterior to the heating and protective device, minimizing damage from fragments, debris, and residue.
  • Quick disconnect connections on wiring and propane hose connections for quick and easy assembly/disassembly.
  • Readily-available replaceable parts.