A global leader in providing innovative ATEX certified explosion protection technologies warns process industries that explosion doors should be selected with caution – and must only be used for specific higher pressure applications.
Fike UK, based in Kent, stresses explosion venting is the most common and effective form of explosion protection offering overpressure protection from potential industrial explosions.
Keith Avila, General Manager at Fike UK said: “As a progressive company we are constantly developing the most effective and cost efficient explosion protection solutions. Over the years we have researched the attributes and qualities possessed by both explosion doors and vents and have found the benefits of vents significantly outweigh that of doors – and our customers are in agreement.”
According to Fike, an explosion vent has proved to be the most effective method of passive explosion protection and can protect processes against the excessive pressures generated by an explosion. The explosion vent will provide an intended route for expanding gases to discharge and, as such, will prevent damage to industrial equipment.
Standard explosion vents will open at a defined activation pressure and the vent area will remain open – preventing build-up of vacuum pressure on cooling – as such guaranteeing not to fail. Explosion doors will also open at a defined activation point, but will generally re-close after the operation, with a device often being used to keep them closed, which is considered by many in the industry to not be as fail safe as the vent.
More recently, however, some explosion vents now have the ability to reclose, but not 100% seal, thus cutting off the majority of the oxygen supply to assist in firefighting but do not allow a vacuum to form on eventual cooling. These types of vents effectively provide all of the advantages of light weight explosion venting, with the reclosing function of doors.
Manufactured from thin stainless steel sheets of 1mm to 2mm, explosion vents are extremely lightweight allowing them to open fully almost instantaneously. Also, being classed as a more consumable part, explosion vents will be easier and less expensive to produce from materials compatible with the process. Conversely, doors are much heavier and, in certain instances, have very low efficiency, resulting in a larger venting area, a reduced explosion pressure or low burst pressure (Pstat).
Fike’s specially designed explosion vents are passive explosion protection devices – with no moving parts to fail – and because of this they do not require any special maintenance. Easy to install, even in the most awkward and restricted locations, all vents come with optional weather protection covers to eliminate any potential damage from the elements and general debris.
Keith added: “Explosion pressure relief is best achieved through the use of devices with no moving parts as they offer the highest venting efficiency and cannot be tampered with. Vents are well known to provide superior process compatibility.
“With all of our explosion venting technology, we take into consideration design variables such as normal operating pressures, reduced explosion pressure and vent efficiency to name but a few. As with all Fike products, we follow industry best practice and in many cases exceed industry standards. Fike is fully committed to providing the most cost effective and safest solutions possible.”
Fike is a globally recognised company with 70 years’ experience. They provide fire, explosion and pressure relief equipment to protect people and critical assets from dangers faced in process industries. Supplying to companies in the food, power, wood, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, Fike has gained an unprecedented reputation for supplying the highest quality and safest solutions available. Their products range from bursting discs and explosion protection systems to energetic oil and gas products for the offshore markets. Other UK branches of Fike also provide fire suppression systems, fire detection devices and alarm panels.