Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/849

This page needs to be proofread.

in Ohio, Burned For More Than Twelve Months


���only to add to the intensity of the heat. It was estimated that a million gallons of water were poured on the fire without subduing it. The smut-dust theory is advanced as the cause of it

��grain were destroyed. The grain loss due to the fires investigated reached about $50,000.

The experimental work carried on during the investigations proved conclusively that, under favorable atmospheric conditions, static electricity is present on ail types of machines. It appears that the largest discharges of static electricity were ob- tained from the steel machines.

The fires and explosions occurred, as a rule, when fall wheat was being threshed, and very rarely occurred dur- ing the threshing of spring wheat. The discharge from the machines, while smutty wheat was being threshed, was more noticeable than when clean wheat was going through the process. l-"all wheat, as a rule, con- tained much more smut than spring wheat. The thcor\- was advanced that the small particles of smut easily be- came electrified when the kernels were broken up by the cylinder teeth and that each particle became charged with static electricity.

��From a study of conditions, several methods have been developed for prevent- ing explosions and fires. The investigators believe that a system of electrical con- nection between all of the moving parts and a common wire, and a thorough grounding of this common wire, will prevent a large percentage of the fires that are due to the presence of static electricity and an explo- sive mixture of smut-dust and air. Several methods of wiring are recommended, the system varying with the type of machine.


��Pulhng a threshing machine away from a straw-stack after an explosion and fire, to avoid a greater conflagration


�� �