For hazardous locations, mitigating sparks and static is a critical part of reducing unwanted ignitions of flammable compounds. To address such issues, industrial equipment manufacturers utilize non-sparking materials, such as plastic, aluminum and wood. While anti-static equipment mostly relies on specific practices to reduce the buildup of charged elements.
What’s the difference between non-sparking and anti-static tools? Find out below!
Non-sparking materials are commonly applied to explosion proof equipment, such as lights, power distribution stations, fans and etc. Furthermore, facilities that handle flammable substances on a regular basis, such as oil and gas, refineries and chemical processing plants, are known to rely on non-sparking tools for safety.
This type of material may also be used to decrease hazards related to combustible dust, mostly found in Class II, Division 1 & 2 work sites. Powdered milk, flour and cornstarch are examples of volatile dust.
The term “non-sparking” simply refers to materials that do not contain ferrous metals, such as steel and iron. Generally speaking, manufacturers may select non-sparking materials for their products based on strength (in addition to the ability to reduce sparks), as the range between extremely durable, non-sparking materials, such as copper-aluminum alloys, and weak options, such as leather, is very wide.
Anti-static Surfaces and Practices
Anti-static materials are effective against electrostatic-related elements around sensitive electronics. However, in classified work sites, static can ignite flammable compounds in the atmosphere.
In some cases, reducing the risk of static is achieved through the observation of safety guidelines in the workplace. For example, to avoid the creation of static, workers and affected materials should be grounded.
A facility may also use tools made out of specially-engineered plastics to address static build up. Such materials must have low surface resistivity rates, in order to decrease hazardous interactions with nearby surfaces. Additionally, temperature and humidity levels should be managed to support anti-static equipment.
This content is sponsored by Larson Electronics TX manufacturer of non-sparking and anti static lighting.