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Hindenburg disaster


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Author Topic: Hindenburg disaster  (Read 983 times)
Jason Vorhees
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« Reply #105 on: November 23, 2009, 03:30:01 pm »

Rate of flame propagation

Regardless of the source of ignition or the initial fuel for the fire, there remains the question of what caused the rapid spread of flames along the length of the airship. Here again the debate has centered on the fabric covering of the airship and the hydrogen used for buoyancy.

Proponents of both the incendiary paint theory and the hydrogen theory agree that the fabric coatings were probably responsible for the rapid spread of the fire. The combustion of hydrogen is not usually visible to the human eye in daylight, because most of its radiation is not in the visible portion of the spectrum but rather infrared. Thus what can be seen burning in the photographs cannot be hydrogen. However, black and white photographic film of the era had a different light sensitivity spectrum than the human eye, and was sensitive farther out into the infrared and ultraviolet region than the human eye. And while hydrogen tends to burn invisibly, the materials around it, if combustible, would change the color of the fire.
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