Determination of Explosion Characteristics of Gases, Vapours and Liquids
The test laboratory at Gexcon also offers a wide range of standardised tests for the determination of the ignition and explosion properties of gases, vapours and liquids. Being aware of these properties of materials handled in your plant or process, or used in your products, allows the necessary safety precautions to be taken to prevent explosions or reduce their consequences. Manufacturers of flammable gases and liquid products are obliged to know the ignition and explosion properties of their products and submit them to their customers as part of the information given in their product Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
There are several tests that can be performed in order to determine the explosion characteristics of gases, vapours and liquids:
The auto-ignition temperature of a substance is used to assess ignition hazards of gases and vapours. The test is performed in a heated vessel into which the test sample is introduced. The temperature and sample concentration is varied until the threshold of ignition is determined. The test is performed according to EN 14522: 'Determination of the auto ignition temperature of gases and vapours'.
This test measures the conductivity of liquids which allows evaluation of their electrostatic charging properties.
The conductivity of a liquid is an important measure for determine electrostatic ignition hazards. Low-conductivity liquids obtain charge for example during pouring or stirring operations. Liquids with conductivities < 5x10-11 S m-1 are considered to be of low enough that electrostatic hazards must be carefully guarded against. However, for liquids with extremely low conductivity, i.e. conductivities < 10-13 S m-1, charge buildup occurs to a lesser extent and is not considered hazardous. These low-conductive liquids may be subject to incendive brush discharges. Liquids with high conductivity may be involved in static electrification accidents if they are placed inside insulated vessels or in the form of an aerosol.