At the technology evening on 1 August, Katlego Setwaba from Pepperl+Fuchs gave a presentation on ‘Explosion protection with a focus on purge and pressurisation’.
Johan Maritz (left) thanks Katlego Setwaba.
The effects of accidental fires or explosions can be devastating in terms of lives lost, injuries, damage to property and the environment, and to business continuity. An explosion is the sudden chemical reaction of a flammable material with oxygen with the simultaneous release of high amounts of energy. Flammable materials may be present in the form of gasses, vapours, mist or dusts.
In order for an explosion to occur three conditions must exist: flammable material, oxygen and an ignition source. Purge and pressurisation is a protection method used with Type 4X (SANS 60079-2:2015) enclosures in a classified area. The enclosure is initially purged to remove any internal explosive gases or dust. Once this is accomplished, the enclosure is pressurised with a protective air or inert gas, preventing volatile gasses from entering in order to avoid an explosion.
This was an educational discussion, which attendees found intriguing.
All instrumentation and control related mechanicians, technicians and engineers are welcome to attend the monthly technology evenings, planned dates for the rest of the year are: Thursday 3 October and Thursday 7 November. All presentations earn CPD points for ECSA registered individuals. Enquiries can be directed to branch chairman Johan Maritz (+27 82 856 3865).
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