Creative Engineers, Inc., can supply all your NaK (sodium-potassium alloy) metal needs. For large quantities, we will assist in sourcing your requirements. For small quantities, we can produce your requirements at our New Freedom, Pa., manufacturing plant.
Potassium Superoxide Shock Sensitivity
Through the years there have been many documented incidents involving NaK and potassium superoxide that resulted in violent explosions. In most cases the explosive situation resulted from a combination of potassium-sodium alloy, potassium superoxide, and an organic material (such as mineral oil) with an applied shear force. This shock-sensitive mixture is not always predictable; however, the potential consequences of improper handling can be severe.
In 1999 an explosion at Oak Ridge National Laboratory resulted when a force was applied to an accumulation of spilled potassium-sodium alloy, mineral oil, and potassium superoxide lying at the bottom of the furnace. Several serious injuries occurred, and as a result the DOE completed at Type “A” accident report.
Very few technical references are available for the handling and use of alkali metals. The most complete reference, the Sodium and NaK Engineering Handbook, specifically recommends the use of dry steam for the deactivation of NaK that may contain superoxide. Creative Engineers, Inc. has many years of experience dealing with and handling NaK and NaK containing potassium superoxide, including the clean-up of the Oak Ridge explosion. Please feel free to call or email us with any specific questions or concerns.
Find out more information about our sodium-potssium alloy and alkali-metal engineering services by calling 443-807-1202 or contact us online.