The transfer of powders into gas EX zones
Transferring powders from a safe environment to one where volatiles are present can be a hazardous application for any vacuum or pneumatic transfer system. To ensure safe conditions exist at the discharge point where any risk of a spark being generated could result in an explosion, special designs are required. INEX vacuum conveyors make transporting powders easy and safe for use in processing plants for all types of reactors, including continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTR). They enable powder transfer in all powder and gas explosion zones and areas.(INEX is an Acronym for INERT EXPLOSION PROOF.)
By way of example, as shown in the photo, aluminum powder for the coating of metal parts was introduced into a reactor that had flammable solvents present, resulting in a Zone 01 (Class 1 Division 1) classification. By transferring the powder under vacuum, using an inert gas for the transfer medium, and carefully ensuring the oxygen level in the conveyor was below 6%, the risk of an explosion was avoided.
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1An area in which an explosive atmosphere is present continuously for long periods of time or will frequently occur