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Danger zones in pharmaceutical industries

Tuesday, 1 January 2013 PDF icon Danger zones in pharmaceutical industries
Production 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.

The use of materials at low temperatures

Saturday, 1 December 2012 PDF icon The use of materials at low temperatures
Winter has arrived and temperatures are low everywhere. We had the first snow and the thermometer fell many degrees below the zero. Winter is a great season for those who can afford the luxury of living in warm chalets and leave the house only for the pleasure of skiing on beautiful slopes. Unfortunately, life forces us to work and, for those involved in the management or maintenance of chemical and petrochemical plants, winter is a difficult time of the year, during which faults are more frequent because of the low temperatures that make, in general, all materials more fragile.

Other directives applicable to Atex equipment

Thursday, 1 November 2012 PDF icon Other directives applicable to Atex equipment
In the last newsletter, we talked about the two ATEX directives. In particular, we have treated the ATEX Directive 94/9/EC which must be applied to equipment used in areas with potentially explosive atmosphere. A topic almost never discussed is the relationship between the ATEX Directive and the other existing product Directives. In principle, if a product falls within the scope of other Directives at the same time, all Directives must be applied in parallel to meet all the requirements. In this newsletter, therefore, we'll give a brief overview on other Directives that may need to be met by a explosion-protected equipment.

The two ATEX standards and their differences

Monday, 1 October 2012 PDF icon The two ATEX standards and their differences
People speak very often about ATEX Standards in general terms but we’ve realized that the topic is not always entirely clear. It’s worthwhile, therefore, to reflect a little on what they are and how they should be used. What is Atex? ATEX stands for "Explosive Atmosphere". Those who follow this newsletter know what an explosive atmosphere is. Therefore, here we will only give a hint. An explosive atmosphere is a mixture of flammable substances that may be in the form of gas, vapor, mists or dusts.

Explosion-protection in cereals storage areas

Saturday, 1 September 2012 PDF icon 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 storage 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.

Explosion-protection in biogas plants

Sunday, 1 July 2012 PDF icon Explosion-protection in biogas plants
In modern biogas plants, biodegradable organic substrates are fermented such as grass, straw, slurry, manure, biodegradable waste, residues of food production, food scraps and grease. For this reason, airtight containers are filled with organic materials. In this environment, in absence of oxygen and with organic components in fermentation, the bacteria produce biogas. The biogas obtained is used to produce electricity and heat.

Food powders explosion

Friday, 1 June 2012 PDF icon Food powders explosion
The phenomenon of food dust explosions has only been recently discovered. Ones, it was a widespread belief that dust exploded because of the presence of alcohol or gas derived from the fermentation. Today it has been acknowledged that powders (depending on their granulometry) follow the same valid principles of gas and vapours.

Electronic grounding system in hazardous areas

Sunday, 1 April 2012 PDF icon Electronic grounding system in hazardous areas

Spring has begun and rains come too. With them the first storms appear. Who can say that have never been fascinated by the power of lightning? Since ancient times, thunder and lightning evoked fear and respect in men who believed that these phenomena were directly dependent on gods. Whereas, lightning is a visible phenomenon of the potential difference which is formed between a cloud and earth. It represents the moment of discharge to the ground of the enormous energy that has been formed. Since the invention of the lightning rod by Benjamin Franklin, all the high buildings, such as towers and steeples, have it, just to create a privileged path for the electrical discharge which goes into the ground preventing damage to buildings, people and animals. Then, if lightning is an important and dangerous phenomenon, why during the design and construction of a plant built in areas with potentially explosive atmosphere, the grounding system is not often considered such important for safety and security?

Electrical installations in hazardous areas

Thursday, 1 March 2012 PDF icon Electrical installations in hazardous areas: places for batteries recharge
Industrial activities which use rechargeable batteries are more and more. Batteries usually used are with nickel-cadmium or lead and are divided into two groups: Traction batteries, mainly used in forklifts, machinery for the cleaning of large rooms etc... Stationary Batteries which are used for auxiliary services of power plants, telephone exchange or places where it’s necessary to keep in operation machineries also in case of power blackout.

Obstruction lighting fixtures

Wednesday, 1 February 2012 PDF icon Obstruction lighting fixtures
Any construction, such as skyscrapers, towers, equipment plant tours, pylons etc. that could represent an obstacle to air navigation, even if located outside the airport fence, must be provided with adequate warning lights. Air traffic safety is regulated by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). ICAO classifies airports into ten categories and, for each category of airport, defines an area, including in so-called "area of obstacles delimitation" that extends to a predetermined distance from the airport itself. Any object, which rises above the surfaces of obstacles delimitation and cannot be removed, becomes an obstacle to air navigation and must be properly signaled.