HAZWOPER Hazmat Physical Properties

SKU: C-1013Duration: 20 Minutes

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Get immediate access to this interactive eLearning course online. Must be used within 30 days, expires 48 hours after launch.

Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 20 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: 29 CFR 1910.120

Languages: English

The physical properties of a hazardous material provide information to help responders understand its behavior, whether in its container or after it has been released. This module describes the following physical properties: physical state, melting point, boiling point, vapor pressure, vapor density, specific gravity, expansion ratio, flash point, solubility, pH, reactivity, and toxicity.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • List and describe key physical properties of hazardous materials
  • Describe the hazards associated with a material based on its physical properties

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What is vapor density and why is it important?
Vapor density is the density of gas or vapor relative to the density of air at the same pressure and temperature. The majority of gases have a vapor density greater than one, which means they are heavier than air and will collect in low areas.

Why is vapor pressure an important property?
Vapor pressure is the pressure exerted by a vapor in contact with its liquid form in a closed container. A chemical with a high vapor pressure will be present in a high concentration in the air. Chemicals with high vapor pressures in closed containers are likely to explode as temperature increases.

How do you know how corrosive a chemical is?
Corrosive chemicals can be identified by pH. Strong acids (low pH) and bases (high pH) are both corrosive.

What is reactivity?
Reactivity is the ability of a material to chemically react with another material. Reactive chemicals can react violently with air, water, or other chemicals.

How do you know if a chemical is flammable?
A liquid's flammability can be determined from its flash point. The lower the flash point, the more hazardous the material.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

Cryogenic, liquefied gases are stored under pressure at low temperatures. When these materials are released, they boil rapidly, creating a large volume of vapor. The expansion ratio is the volume of vapor produced from one volume of liquid. The greater the expansion ratio, the greater the area affected by the incident. For example, anhydrous ammonia has an expansion ratio of 850 to 1. That means a 1,500 gallon tank could release enough ammonia vapor to fill two average-sized hot air balloons. Expansion creates a lot of force so rapid releases can cause a container to act like a missile.

Additional Resources

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

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