Major Guide for Oxygen Service Systems Undergoes Extensive Revision

ASTM International Committee G04 on Compatibility and Sensitivity of Materials in Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres originally developed the standard, G 88, Guide for Designing Systems for Oxygen Service, in 1984. Since that time, G 88 has been regarded as one of the leading design guides for oxygen systems throughout all industries that use oxygen. While the original version of the standard contained the best design practices of the time, and has been revised periodically, a new revision is the most extensive that has been done since its inception. Guide G 88 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee G04.02 on Recommended Practices.

"ASTM standard guides have always been supported by a strong foundation of test data, and in this case there was much data generated over 20 years that could be folded into oxygen system design factors and methodologies," says Elliot Forsyth, engineer and technical consultant for Oxygen Safety Consultants Inc. and chair of Subcommittee G04.02.

While the revisions to G 88 are extensive, they are mostly limited to two sections of the standard, section five on factors affecting the design of an oxygen or oxygen-enriched system and section seven on system design method.

According to Forsyth, the changes in section five reflect the desire of Committee G04 to provide the latest understanding on the characteristic elements of the most common ignition mechanisms that cause oxygen fires. The ignition mechanism discussion was expanded and critical data for evaluating the presence of ignition mechanisms was included. "This section educates and prepares technical personnel to better understand fire hazards in oxygen systems," says Forsyth.

Changes in section seven include expanding the 13 original principles given to avoid fires to 21 principles, along with notes, illustrations and examples. This section can serve as a checklist for oxygen system designers or system safety auditors to ensure their system design has accounted for the most common potential oxygen hazards.

"Committee G04 believes that G 88 is unique among oxygen system design guides in that it provides the background and technical justification for the design criteria provided and, because of this, it has the potential to become the most-referenced standard in industry on oxygen system design, " says Forsyth, who also notes that system engineers, designers, safety personnel, materials specialist and procurement personnel will all find the revised version of G 88 useful.

Forsyth encourages participation from anyone interested in future revisions to G 88. "The material content added in the latest revision was provided by technical specialists across all industries that use oxygen, including industrial gas, aerospace and medical industries" he says. "Participation by submitting comments, suggesting additions for future revisions or by joining Subcommittee G04.02 on Recommended Practices is highly encouraged. Committee G04 always welcomes input."

For further technical information, contact Elliot T. Forsyth, Oxygen Safety Consultants, Tulsa, Okla. (phone: 918/746-1918; Committee G04 will meet April 26-27, at the April Committee Week in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For membership or meeting details, contact Stephen Mawn, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9726;


Release #7283

December 1, 2005

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