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How a Flame Arrester Provides Protection From Explosions

Posted On : Monday 01st October

Whether you work in oil and gas, petrochemical, bio-fuels or power generation, having explosion protection equipment, such as a Flame Arrester, is vital to both safety and business continuity.

You only have to look to the news. In recent years catastrophic  accidents have occurred at the Stanlow Refinery in Ellesmere Port, at Buncefield in Hemel Hampstead and in Ingolstadt, southern Germany. However, the good news is that thanks to our range of patent-protected Flame Arresters and advanced flame arresting technology and expertise, we have simplified the process of protecting your assets against explosions and their tragic consequences.

Types of flame arrester

Elmac Technologies supplies and arranges the installation of the three main types of Flame Arrester: (1) End-of-Line Deflagration Flame Arresters, (2) In-Line Deflagration Flame Arresters, and (3) In-Line Detonation Flame Arresters. Our Flame Arresters are designed to meet current legislation, ATEX regulations and all relevant ISO standards in order to ensure the safety and protection of process equipment, operators and the environment.

Flame Arresters are often used in combination with a Pressure Relief Valve. For example, circumstances can arise where, even though a fire is contained near a storage tank, the extreme heat given off can cause the pressure inside these vessels to increase beyond their design limits. The resulting failure, due to the lack of correct equipment installation, has often given rise to disastrous consequences. A Flame Arrester, and correctly sized and installed Emergency Relief Vent, serves to provide maximum protection in the most arduous circumstances.

Irregular or inadequate inspection and maintenance increases the chance of failure

As is true for all safety equipment, Flame Arresters can cease to function if they’re not correctly specified or installed in the first place, or poorly or inadequately maintained thereafter.

Accordingly, we recommend that Flame Arresters and other safety devices should be inspected at least annually and more frequently where operating conditions dictate increased maintenance.

If you don’t keep to a regular inspection schedule, then the results can be catastrophic. Inadequate maintenance was given as the primary reason when a major explosion killed two municipal employees at the Bethune Point Wastewater Plant in Florida in 2006. In this incident, sparks from a cutting torch ignited a vapour cloud when it was used to remove a steel roof over a storage tank. The tank contained highly flammable methanol. The investigation that followed revealed that the tank’s aluminium Flame Arrester – incidentally not suitable for use with methanol – had not been inspected or cleaned since its installation in 1993.

Act now so you don’t have to pay later

We urge operators not to delay, and instead to contact us directly on 01352 717555 and enquiries@elmactech.com or via our website at www.elmactechnologies.com.  We’d be delighted to arrange a meeting or Lunch & Learn session between your engineers or plant operatives, and one of our explosion protection specialists. We can explain the nuances of Flame Arresters and other tank protection devices, and their underlying technologies, at absolutely no cost to yourselves.

Our Flame Arresters and low-pressure venting equipment prevent explosions. That’s a fact.

Protecting people, property and our planet.