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The danger of explosion in grain silos

silos 300x193 The danger of explosion in grain silosThe grain silos are a store or a place outside or inside a building, in which are stored food industry products, such as wheat, corn, rice or other similar products. All the loading operations are carried out generally with mechanical means such as pipes, conveyor belts, augers, etc.., through loading inlets placed in the upper part of the silo tower. Once stored, the products are taken from unloading hatchback doors placed in the lower part or they can be collected and transported by means of pneumatic or manual conveying systems.

All products of the food industry are made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, etc.. Therefore, they are combustible and, consequently, able to causing fires and explosions. If undergo grinding operation before storage, cereals may have a very fine grain size and, in the case the particle size is below than 500 μmm, they can originate explosive atmosphere if mixed with air. In any case, even if the grains have higher dimensions, we must consider that the solid parts generate normally dust. It should be always kept in mind the rule saying that dusts generate finer dust. Obviously, the presence of combustible dust always involves, if triggered, danger of explosion. [Read more…]

Danger zones in pharmaceutical industries

pharmaceutical Danger zones in pharmaceutical industriesProduction processes in companies that produce pharmaceutical products through mixing, emulsifying and chemical reaction of organic compounds, may generate environmental conditions that create potentially explosive atmospheres. Substances in liquid state are very often used during manufacturing process. They can reach temperature which emit flammable vapors or temperatures above the flash point.

In addition to industrial installations with production process, research and development chemical laboratories may use liquids, gases or combustible dusts in quantities that could cause a hazard of explosion. These dangerous substances are usually contained in closed containers in storage areas before being put into production.

Therefore, quantifying the risk of explosion, we’ve to consider these possibilities:

1. potentially explosive atmosphere due to the manufacturing process for the presence of: gas, vapors of flammable liquids in process at temperatures above the flash point, combustible dust;

2. potentially explosive atmosphere due to installations at the service of the production process, such as fuel systems of methane gas;

3. potentially explosive atmospheres in chemical laboratories where there’s a study and research activity with the use of flammable substances in the form of gases, vapors or mists and dusts, in the presence of potential sources of ignition.

[Read more…]

Explosion-protection in cereals storage areas

02 Cereal silos Psachna Explosion protection in cereals storage areas

During the summer, the farms are reaping the crops and the products of a year’s work of nature are stored in the granaries.

The increasingly large size of the warehouses and the mechanization of the collection, handling and storage of wheat and its derivatives, have led us to consider the dangers of explosion of dust clouds that can occur in the presence of sparks or electrical arcs.

We regard as the silos for the storage of cereals (corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, flour, etc..) in which loading, unloading and other processes can generate explosive atmospheres.  [Read more…]

Installations in hazardous areas for the presence of combustible dust

sugar e1290187349909 Installations in hazardous areas for the presence of combustible dust

Sugar Company during a fire at the plant in Port Wentworth, Ga.

In this post, we will describe what types of protection can be used and how the installations are performed.

In order to design an electrical system respecting the principles of safety against explosion in hazardous areas for the presence of combustible dust, the new EN 60079-14-2 standard is the reference. This standard is part of the whole new standard group resulting directly from IEC requirements which replaced the EN 50281 series standards.  [Read more…]

Ex n protection

ex plant Ex n protectionThe presence of explosion atmosphere in Zone 2 is always been very low. It is estimated that the probability of presence of explosive atmosphere is between 30″ and an hour in a year.

About 80% of the hazardous areas inside a plant can be classified as Zone 2, and it is essential that the designer duly knows the protection type of the electrical equipment installable in such areas. The use of oversized equipment, in fact, could involve a huge waste of money and no advantages in terms of safety.

Ex “n” protection method has been developed in United Kingdom many years ago to be used in safety condition in Zone 2 reducing the costs of traditional equipment in Ex “d” or Ex “e” protection.

Ex “n” protection method is applied to the equipment having the features described on the European standard EN 60079-15. [Read more…]