Re: [Root_Cause_State_of_the_Practice] Lengthy Inquiry Into 787 Dreamliner Reveals Investigative Mindsets?
- So they have a battery that when it does catch fire it feeds itself and is essentially left to burn out, that does not sound like a good plan for an aircraft. The structure used is also susceptible to thermal runaway, these two facts do not make me feel confident about the set up.Wolfy
From: Dr. Bill Corcoran <William.R.Corcoran@...>
Sent: Saturday, 26 January 2013 3:08 AM
Subject: [Root_Cause_State_of_the_Practice] Lengthy Inquiry Into 787 Dreamliner Reveals Investigative Mindsets?
Please scroll down for the story and the link.What does this say about the functionality of the investigative mindsets?
What should we learn from the episode so far?Take care,
William R. Corcoran, Ph.D., P.E.
Nuclear Safety Review Concepts Corporation
21 Broadleaf Circle
Windsor, CT 06095-1634
Mission: Saving lives, pain, assets, and careers through thoughtful inquiry.
Motto: If you want safety, peace, or justice, then work for competency, integrity, and transparency.
Method: Mastering Investigative Technology
Mindset: A good business issue investigation makes the despicable explicable.
Memory: The harmful factors of every adverse event to date have included insufficient transparency.
Mantra: Fix the nonconformities that resulted in the enormities.****Internet Email Confidentiality Footer****Privileged/Confidential Information may be contained in this message. If you are not the addressee indicated in this message (or responsible for delivery of the message to such person), you may not copy or deliver this message to anyone. In such case, you should destroy this message and notify the sender by reply email. Please advise immediately if you or your employer do not consent to Internet email for messages of this kind. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of NSRC Corp. shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by it.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Protracted Fire Inquiry Keeping 787 on Ground
By MATTHEW L. WALDand JAD MOUAWADWASHINGTON — Any hope that Boeing’s 787s would be flying in the near future faded Thursday after federal investigators said they were still far from finding out what had caused a battery fire in a plane in Boston earlier this month — one of two battery-related incidents that led to the plane’s grounding by regulators worldwide.The National Transportation Safety Board’s chairwoman, Deborah A. P. Hersman, said that the lithium-ion battery that caught fire in a parked 787 at Logan International Airport showed signs of short-circuiting and of a “thermal runaway.” That refers to a chemical reaction that begins to overheat the battery and speeds up as the temperature increases. But investigators do not know if that was the root of the problem.“The expectation in aviation is to never experience a fire on an aircraft,” Ms. Hersman said at a news briefing Thursday afternoon. “There are multiple systems to prevent against a battery event like this.” She added: “Those systems did not work as intended. We need to understand why.”Boeing 787s were grounded last week when a second battery problem prompted a 787 in Japan to make an emergency landing. The pilot reported seeing smoke in the cockpit as battery alarms went off. While there were no injuries in either incident, Ms. Hersman said, “this is a very serious air safety concern.”The safety board’s technical presentation provided the most graphic indication to date of the severity of the battery problems. Ms. Hersman highlighted the gravity of the problems more bluntly than other federal officials have done. She repeated three times that fires should never be allowed to occur on an airplane, and pointed at the failure of the safety systems that Boeing had put in place.The battery damage was so significant, she said, that investigators were having difficulty retrieving information from the battery control system.Unlike the Federal Aviation Administration, the safety board does not have regulatory powers but its investigations and its public recommendations can weigh heavily on air safety policy. The F.A.A. has already made clear, though, that the plane could not fly again until the cause was determined and the problem fixed.“It means that the 787 is going to be grounded for an indefinite period — whether that’s two months, four months or six months, the 787 is not going to get back in the air soon,” said Scott Hamilton, managing director of the Leeham Company, an aviation consulting firm in Issaquah, Wash. “They made it just real clear today that they haven’t a clue as to what happened, or why.”After the briefing, Boeing said it welcomed “progress” in the investigation. The company noted in a statement that it was working with investigators in the United States and Japan to find out what had gone wrong and had hundreds of engineers and technical experts “working around the clock with the sole focus of resolving the issue and returning the 787 fleet to flight status.”It added, “The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.”Four days after the fire, the transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, and the F.A.A. administrator, Michael Huerta, announced a review of the 787s but still expressed confidence in the plane’s safety.The 787s were grounded only a week later, after the second battery incident. While the safety board’s investigation is further along, experts say that the Japanese investigation into the second incident may be able to find out more from the battery controllers or memory system since that battery did not sustain as much damage as the first one.Investigators in both countries said they had found no evidence of overcharging. The 787 batteries are all made by GS Yuasa, a Japanese manufacturer that has been a pioneer in the development of large lithium-ion batteries for use in trains and planes.The investigation goes to the heart of Boeing’s battery choice. Fires involving lithium-ion batteries cannot be extinguished easily: when batteries of the type used on the 787 burn, they release oxygen, which feeds the fire, and they essentially must be allowed to burn out. For that reason, Boeing has installed four safety systems in its batteries to stop them from overheating.But Boeing engineers also envisaged what would happen if a fire did take place and designed a system that would contain an eventual fire and vent any smoke outside the plane until the aircraft could safely land. The F.A.A. signed off on these designs.Ms. Hersman made clear on Thursday that the safety board’s investigation would also include a review of the certification process and would seek to find out whether “the risks were well understood.”Ralph J. Brodd, a battery expert who runs his own consulting firm in Henderson, Nev., said investigators still cannot rule out a relatively simple problem like a manufacturing defect. But he said the new and more advanced control circuitry that was intended to keep the battery from overheating could also be the source of the problem.“What they had in place didn’t work,” he said.The safety board also said it was examining other components associated with the battery, including the charger. Its investigators spent two days in Arizona visiting Securaplane Technologies, the maker of the battery’s charging system.Ms. Hersman’s briefing, the first by the safety board on the batteries, fleshed out some of the questions facing the forensic engineers but did not identify any cause as particularly likely, or rule any out. And some of the tests on the design of the battery take a week to conduct, she said.Lithium ion is a general term that is used in the battery industry to describe a variety of chemistries. This particular battery was built specifically for the 787 and, according to the safety board, used an aluminum strip coated in lithium cobalt oxide in its positive electrode. That is an older technology and is more prone to thermal runaway.The safety board showed reporters the battery that caught fire in Boston, splayed open on a table in the board’s laboratory, its blue aluminum shell scorched and covered in soot. When intact, the case is a little bigger than the box that holds a desktop personal computer. Inside are eight cells, in stainless steel cases, each about the size of a hardcover book. One, blackened by fire, was still in the box on Thursday.The structure of the battery is what the industry calls a “jelly roll,” consisting of an anode and cathode — or positive side and negative side — in the form of flat sheets, rolled up like a paper towel. In this battery, there were three rolls in each cell. And each roll was 33 feet long.Two such rolls had been gently unrolled and laid on a long table, looking like ancient papyrus or parchments. In one roll, the original structure was still obvious: a copper sheet, coated in graphite, and an aluminum sheet, coated in lithium cobalt oxide. Between them was a “separator,” a polymer layer that at a glance looked like plastic food wrap. In the other, the metal looked as if it had come through an incinerator.----- Forwarded Message -----
As a rootician, what do you see wrong in the article? Sent by firebird.one@...:
By MATTHEW L. WALDand JAD MOUAWADThe National Transportation Safety Board indicated that an investigation into the failure of lithium-ion batteries aboard two Boeing 787 planes is still far from determining a cause.
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