If you are in the business of transporting or storing flammable gases or liquids, you should know about flame arrestor. You may have a general idea about flame arrestors but every now and then you should refresh your knowledge, as it is one of the most important components of an enclosure system.
What is flame arrestor?
A flame arrestor is a crucial component in the system of enclosures. It is designed to be fitted to the connecting pipework or opening of an enclosure. Essentially, it allows the gases and liquids to pass through but it thwarts the transmission of flame to avert larger fire and explosion.
Without a doubt, this device helps mitigate the risk of spreading fire thereby limiting its impact and explosion. In the end, flame arrestors can avert the tragic loss of life and damage. If you are involved in the selection and purchase of these devices, you need to constantly refresh your knowledge to make an informed decision.
Why do you need a flame arrestor?
The greatest danger if you are in the business of transporting or storing flammable gases or liquids is the ignition of flammable vapor. This event will result in fire or explosion. You must understand why this reaction happens so you will know why you need a flame arrestor.
When a flammable gas is mixed with oxygen, there is a risk of explosion. If there is an accidental ignition, the flame will travel through until the fuel is consumed. The flame will accelerate if it travels through an enclosed space like pipe or vessel because of the rapid increase in the volume of gas.
If the flame isn’t stopped, it will result in catastrophic damage not only to equipment but also to production. It does not stop there because the flame can lead to a tragic loss of life and potentially large lawsuit. With this, flame arrestors should not be overlooked.
What is deflagration?
You must know about the flame front. It develops when flammable mixture (of gas or vapor) comes in contact with the ignition source. If this flame front is propagating faster than the speed of sound, it is known as deflagration. There are two types of deflagration – unconfined deflagration and confined deflagration.
When does detonation happen?
Detonation happens when flame travels along a pipe together with shock wave (characterized by a change in density and pressure from subsonic to supersonic). Detonation has one type – overdriven detonation. It happens when the flame front transitions from deflagration to detonation.
What are the types of flame arrestors?
There are different types of flame arrestors to cater to different applications. Types of flame arrestors include the following:
- End-of-line: as the name suggests, the flame arrestor is fitted to the pipeline’s exit. In a vessel, it is fitted in the exit.
- In-line: this is designed to safeguard the downstream equipment. It is fitted in the piping systems.
- Pre-volume: this is designed to protect the systems in which a flame may start within a container. The goal is to ensure that the flame will leave the container.
- Hydraulic: these arrestors contain water to help extinguish the flame.