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#73977 - 01/08/07 01:03 PM Explosion Proof area
Airborne-Ed Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Bucks County ,Pa USA
Hi Everyone, this may be a long post. Where I work we have a area called the clean room It's a building made of laminated plywood that sit's inside the main bldg.they use a 300 gal. tote bin filled with 70% alcohol and 30%dionized water.that get's pumped from a pump that sit's outside the clean rm. and goes to a filling station in the room into 1 gal bottles and then to a capper then bagged and heat sealed. My question is who actually has the authority to classify that rm .I believe it should be class 1 div 2. I am fighting management on this ,They say it doesn;t have to be EP and I believe the don't know what they are talking about. I don't know the guy that wired this rm up before I got there but they have multistrip outlets daisey chained right where they process the product non e p lights the room has forced mechanical ventilation. Sorry for the long post,but I believe it's a disaster waiting to happen. Thank you so much again for any input. Ed

[This message has been edited by Airborne-Ed (edited 01-08-2007).]

[This message has been edited by Airborne-Ed (edited 01-08-2007).]

[This message has been edited by Airborne-Ed (edited 01-08-2007).]

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#73978 - 01/08/07 02:50 PM Re: Explosion Proof area
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
Without looking at the operation, it would hard to comment, on your site, what is found at many small manufacturing sites is a lot of the work is done without permits or approvals, and of course not an expensive engineer, many manufactures think they are exempt from construction approvals, and permits, those pesty things just hold up projects, and are only there for other people, remember production is more impotrant, then employee safety, if you can understand these simple rules of todays management, and look the other way, you may have the privlige of continued employment, try to do your job, and bring attention to any hazzards, will cost money to make right, will make everyone look like the idiots they are , and for that effort, you will most likely be rewarded with termination of employment.

Try to present your concerns, in writing, and offer to help make things right if there are dangerous conditions, if they refuse, at least you tried to address the issue.




[This message has been edited by LK (edited 01-08-2007).]

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#73979 - 01/08/07 03:56 PM Re: Explosion Proof area
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
I can't comment on the electrical safety aspect, except to say that poorly executed electrical work and liquid fuels make very poor bedfellows. I'll leave the electrical critique to the experts. However;

1. Alcohol at 30% water content is flammable and 300 gallons, heck - that poses a real fire risk. The amounts of vapor lost in the filling process may be drawn off effectively by the extraction system, but in a worst case fire scenario could actually make the situation worse. Do they mix dry alcohol and water in the facility, or buy in the 70% proof?
Alcohol fires are really scary- the flames are nigh on invisible.

2. If the alcohol is methanol, [ which is probable, unless you are in a moonshine factory! ], it poses severe health risks, as it's very poisonous, including the fumes.
If it's ethanol, you can get inebriated on the vapors, but that's not what you want when you need your wits about you at work.

Alan
_________________________
Wood work but can't!

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#73980 - 01/08/07 04:08 PM Re: Explosion Proof area
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
 Quote:
who actually has the authority to classify that rm


That would be left up to the Fire Marshal or the local inspector. I can tell you for certain that "company management" does not have that authority.

70%-30% Isopropyl Alcohol/Water is what we normally see as "Rubbing Alcohol" in the drugstore.

Here's a copy of a MSDS.

I did an air washing system for a clean room that had some pretty high concentrations of alcohol. We used haz loc ventilators, and installed alarms in case of a failure. The company had a backup generator, and the system was thought out and engineered (by a GENUINE engineer) so that a failure of one unit would not cause an unsafe build up of vapor. There were no daisy-chained plug strips there. Safety was the primary concern, even though there was nobody to require it. It was in TJ---Tijuana, Mexico.

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#73981 - 01/08/07 04:22 PM Re: Explosion Proof area
Airborne-Ed Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Bucks County ,Pa USA
Alan,It;s Isoproply alcohol and about 2 times a year they do 99% in the room.

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#73982 - 01/08/07 04:43 PM Re: Explosion Proof area
ayrton Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/01
Posts: 205
Loc: Pa
I am surprised nobody commented on the fact that the room in question itself is made out of plywood. What is the fire rating of plywood? 5 minutes?
Jeez!

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#73983 - 01/08/07 05:17 PM Re: Explosion Proof area
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
"I am surprised nobody commented on the fact that the room in question itself is made out of plywood."

That was the first sign, something was wrong.

These type of operations are usually temporary. they usually bid on packaging a certain number of units at X cost per unit, the contract may take 6 months or a year to complete, the only way to make money on an operation like this is usually to cut corners, heck the next bidder may not even have a fan, if they build the operation to meet standards, they most likely would not make money on the contract.

[This message has been edited by LK (edited 01-08-2007).]

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#73984 - 01/08/07 05:21 PM Re: Explosion Proof area
togol Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 426
Loc: NW In. USA
fire rating......

that assumes there is still something worth burning after the big explosion.......
_________________________
Tom

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#73985 - 01/08/07 07:45 PM Re: Explosion Proof area
DetroiterRob Offline
Member

Registered: 05/16/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Dearborn, MI, USA
just a comment on alans post about ethanol vapors... last october when my company was working an outage in an ethanol plant up here we were installing a pump system in the distill side of the plant, some of you may remember my comments about the sprinkler piping, and even after the plant was shut down for 4 days, after working in the area for 14 hours you did feel alittle light headed and tipsy.

rob

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#73986 - 01/10/07 01:57 PM Re: Explosion Proof area
Airborne-Ed Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Bucks County ,Pa USA
Well the operations manager said yesterday at the end of day ,that he doesn't want to change anything unless they get caught.I just walked away from him. This guy use to be a manager at Roam &Haas at one time. Well he must have had a nightmare last night,He came in this morning and said I can make some changes a little a time. So I guess there is some hope,although I don't see the wooden bldg being replaced unless it burns down. Thanks again for the comments.

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