PARR Oxygen Combustion Bombs

PARR Oxygen Combustion Bombs

Combustion with oxygen in a sealed Parr vessel has been accepted for many years as a standard method for converting solid and liquid combustible samples into soluble forms for chemical analysis. It is a reliable method whose effectiveness stems from its ability to treat samples quickly and conveniently within a closed system without losing any of the sample or its combustion products. All hydrocarbons are oxidized to carbon dioxide and water by the reaction, and all sulfur compounds are converted to soluble forms and absorbed in a small amount of water placed in the bomb. Organic chlorine compounds are converted to HCl or chlorides. Any mineral constituents remain as ash, but other inorganic elements such as arsenic, boron and all of the halogens are recovered with the vessel washings. The entire procedure is simple and straightforward, with its superiority over other sample preparation methods derived primarily from it’s: speed, safety and significant sample size. Samples large enough to be statistically significant can be treated in these vessels with complete sample recovery.


The 1108 Vessel is the standard, 350 mL, general purpose vessel used in all Parr 6100, 6200 and 1341 Calorimeters, and in the 1901 Vessel Combustion Apparatus. It will safely burn samples liberating up to a maximum of 8000 calories per charge, using oxygen charging pressures up to 40 atm.

The standard 1108 Vessel is made of a special columbium stabilized stainless steel selected for its excellent resistance to the mixed nitric and sulfuric acids produced in a vessel combustion. This is a superior alloy that is suitable for most combustion tests, yet neither it nor any other stainless steel will resist the corrosive atmosphere produced when burning samples containing halogen compounds. For these applications Parr offers the 1108CL Vessel described below.

An oxygen filling system and other accessories for the 1108 Vessels can be ordered or a vessel complete with all necessary accessories can be obtained by ordering the 1901 Oxygen Vessel Apparatus.

1108 Oxygen Combustion Vessel

1108 Oxygen Combustion Vessel

The 1108B Oxygen Combustion Vessel was developed in 1986 to address certain unique provisions of BS 4791:1985 “British Standard Specification for Calorimeter Bombs”.

The 1108B Vessel is identical to the 1108 Vessel in all respects except the standard screw cap is replaced with a heavy duty screw cap. The heavy duty screw cap allows for higher pressures and energy release in the oxygen vessel.

This combustion vessel supports a maximum energy release of 42 kJ (10 kcal).

1104 High Strength Vessel with Cage and Loop

The 1104 High Strength Vessel with Cage and Loop is a heavy-walled, 240 mL vessel. It is designed for combustion tests of explosives and other fast burning, high energy samples, that burn with extreme violence. The 1104 High Strength Vessel will handle samples liberating up to 12,000 calories using an oxygen charging pressure up to 45 atm (665 psig).

The sample is contained in a combustion cage that is designed to muffle the shock forces produced by explosive samples. The capsule is anchored to the cage so the explosion will not dislodge it.

While the combustion cage is essential for fast burning, high-energy samples, it may not be necessary to use the cage when testing samples which do not burn violently. In some cases it may be easier to secure complete combustion by substituting the loop capsule holder and omitting the cage.

1104 High Pressure Oxygen Combustion Vessel

1104 High Pressure Oxygen Combustion Vessel


1104B High Strength Vessel with Loop

The 1104B High Strength Vessel with Loop is designed for testing materials that do not produce the shock forces generated by explosive samples.

The 1104B is identical to the 1104 except that it does not include the combustion cage and heavy duty capsule necessary for testing explosive samples.


1104C High Strength Vessel with Vacuum Adaptation

The 1104C High Strength Vessel with Vacuum Adaptation is designed for testing explosives in a vacuum.

It is not accurate to test the amount of energy generated in an explosion when oxygen is present as the end products of the explosion will also be combustible. For example, any free Carbon and Carbon Monoxide will react with oxygen to form Carbon Dioxide and release an indeterminable amount of heat that did not come from the initial composition being tested. It is usually recommended to use 5 atm of Nitrogen or Argon environment through a fill and flush sequence in the 1104 High Strength Vessel with Cage and Loop to overcome this problem.

For those that would prefer to test in a vacuum there is the 1104C High Strength Vessel with Vacuum Adaptation. The 1104C is identical in specifications to the 1104. The only change in the 1104C is that the inlet valve on the vessel has been modified to allow for a vacuum to be pulled.

Testing Larger Samples

The 1104 High Strength Vessel is intended for samples of up to 1 gram not liberating more than 12,000 calories per sample. For testing up to 25 grams of high explosives per sample see the Parr Detonation Calorimeter.

The Parr 1109A Semi-micro Oxygen Bomb is designed for small samples such as marine biology or ecological studies. It may also be used when sample size is limited. This 22 mL bomb is the smallest Parr Combustion Bomb. It will handle samples that range from 25 to 200 milligrams, liberating 52 to 1200 calories when burned in oxygen, using initial pressures up to 35 atmospheres. Outputs of up to 2400 calories can be accommodated if the sample is self-oxidizing, provided it is burned in an inert atmosphere and does not produce gas.

1121 Large-Capacity Bomb

This is an 1850 mL oxygen bomb developed for users who want to analyze slow-burning cellulosic materials using larger samples than can be treated in the 1108 Bomb. It will accommodate samples weighing up to 10 grams using oxygen charging pressures up to 20 atm., but these limits vary and must be checked experimentally for each sample. The bomb will hold vacuum, making it particularly useful for determining trace amounts of tritium, carbon-14 or heavy metals in vegetable matter.


1122 Large-Capacity Bomb

Same as 1121 except for the smaller capacity of 920 mL.

Complete Systems for Bomb Combustion Procedures

1901 Oxygen Bomb Apparatus

1901 Oxygen Bomb Apparatus

This is the convenient way to purchase an oxygen bomb with a full set of operating accessories. Although any of the components of this apparatus may be purchased separately, by purchasing a complete apparatus the user can be sure that he will have all of the equipment needed for bomb combustion operations.

The 1901 Oxygen Bomb Apparatus with an 1108 Bomb will handle most procedures. It consists of:
Quantity Part No. Description
1 1108 Oxygen Combustion Bomb
1 A387A Water Bath
1 1825 Oxygen Filling Connection
1 2901 Ignition Unit
2 A468E Ignition Cords
1 A38A Bomb Head Support Stand
1 421A Bomb Lifter
6 43AS Combustion Capsules
3 45C10 Cards of 10-cm Fuse Wire
1 3601 Bottle of 100 Gelatin Capsules
1 set Extra Gaskets and Sealing Rings
1 206M Instruction Manual

Similar oxygen bomb apparatus with accessories listed above can be furnished with an 1108CL Bomb, with an 1108 Oxygen Bomb with platinum electrodes and a quartz liner, or with an 1121 Oxygen Bomb. Spare parts kits are available also.

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