Many industrial processes consistently generate considerable quantities of fine dust, which starts as 'just' combustible but becomes highly explosive when enriched with oxygen. An ignition source in the plant can then set off an explosion with enormous potential for damage to machinery and danger to staff.
Although ATEX directive 94/9/EG obliges operating companies to carry out primary explosion protection, compliance only statistically reduces the odds of a disaster while leaving the dust explosion risk itself still in place.
ATEX therefore urges that additional constructive explosion protection be used in plants operating with fine dusts, and the addition of explosion venting with relief panels approved by the directive provides a useful approach to the problem. If a dust explosion occurs, its pressure is reduced to a harmless level within in the plant.
These relief panels must resist operating pulsations and temperature changes, corrosive environments and the early material fatigue that experience shows endangers safety and causes costly plant shutdowns.
'Ex-Go-Vent' explosion relief panels from REMBE of Germany, now available in the UK from Orthos, distinguish themselves by biomimetic structures that eliminate all such operational problems. Approved to FSA 04 ATEX 1538X, their patented design guarantees durability and a long working life under all production conditions.
Combining the user benefits of full-plant availability and simplified installation with considerable cost savings, these flat single-layer panels are claimed to give 100 per cent venting efficiency. They are available in 25 different standard dimensions for a wide range of applications.
Quick and easy mounting is ensured by a patented concept of combined gasket and breaking point configuration that eliminates the need to control the clamping torque of the fixing bolts - as is required by other manufacturers.
Processes that generate fine dusts - such as a flour mills, wood processing plants, animal feed compounders, sugar processing and fuel handling plants - are typical applications for the Ex-Go-Vent explosion relief panels.