In July 2009, a fiber-reinforced rubber hose ruptured while being used to transfer liquid ammonia from a cargo tank truck to a storage tank. The rupture released ammonia vapor that drifted across a highway and through a neighborhood. As a result, one person was fatally injured and seven others required medical treatment.
This case history presents the failure analysis of the ruptured fiber-reinforced rubber transfer hose and focuses on the techniques used in the investigation. In particular, this case demonstrates how fractography can be applied to reinforced rubber and how Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy can be used to determine ammonolysis failure of fiber-reinforcement polymers.