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Career-Minded Safety Cabinet

New Developed Drum Cabinet for Active Storage of Flammable Liquids

10.12.2008 | Editor: Anke Geipel-Kern

The removal station supplies the test setup at Global Research with solvent. (Pictures: Düperthal)
The removal station supplies the test setup at Global Research with solvent. (Pictures: Düperthal)

Are you looking for a storage system in which you have access to flammable liquids at your workplace? A new, ventilated safety cabinet holds a 200 litre drum and enables permanent removal.

Question: How can a safety cabinet make a successful career for itself? Answer: By installing a ventilation system and a few additional technical refinements. Then, a cabinet in which securely closed containers are stored becomes a system which is suitable for use as a removal and collection station for solvents and other flammable chemicals. Working together with the experts of TÜV Süd, Düperthal has shown how this is possible. In the first step, the focus was on a safety cabinet according to EN 14470-1, which was already approved for passive storage of a 200 litre drum. But how does a passive safety cabinet become a cabinet approved for active storage? An important aspect of active storage is the continuous earthing in accordance with the TRbF 30 requirements for „filler points“ and the guidelines of the employer’s liability insurance association BGR 132 “Prevention of ignition hazards”. This requirement is solved as follows: All metal components inside the cabinet, e.g. bottom trays and grating are conductively connected to each other. The safety cabinet also has two earthing terminals, one for the drum and one for the drum pump. Earthing connections are provided on the roof of the cabinet, which enable the user to connect the system to the earthing and to therefore prevent static charging.

Ventilation and explosive zones

According to TRbF 20 Annex L, safety cabinets for passive storage do not necessarily have to be connected to the ventilation. An important reason for this is that only closed vessels may be stored in conventional safety cabinets. With active storage on the other hand, more critical explosion zones in accordance with TRbF 30 occur due to the open container. The consequence of this is that the drum cabinet must be ventilated with at least 10-fold air exchange per hour. Furthermore, the ventilation must become active in each level of the cabinet, which is why exhaust and supply air roses are installed at every cabinet level. The ventilation must also be monitored and the legal requirements for fans must be complied with. Düperthal therefore supplies a ventilation unit, ready to plug in, with integrated exhaust monitoring unit which conforms to the Atex standard. The doors of safety cabinets according to EN 14470-1 or TRbF 20 Annex L are self-closing in the event of a fire. But the consequence of this on active storage with drum pumps is that the media and energy cable can no longer “simply” passed through the open doors. The ideal solution is a tested and approved pipe penetration for stainless steel pipes. If this pipe penetration is used, up to four stainless steel pipes with a maximum diameter of 20 mm or optionally one 28 mm diameter pipe can be passed through the side wall or cabinet ceiling. The pipe penetration has been successfully tested with the drum cabinet by an independent material test institute in a combustion chamber test. The safety cabinet was classified Type 90 (= fire resistance of at least 90 minutes). This ensures that an explosion protected compressed air drum pump can be connected inside the cabinet without any risk.

The new “active drum cabinet” concept has now become a complete product line. Apart from the drum cabinet, it also includes the XXL drum station. The removal and transfer station is suitable for 200 litre drums containing flammable and water polluting liquids. The drum station consists of two Type 90 classified safety cabinets, including self-closing tapping point with object extraction, explosion protected compressed air pump with automatic emergency stop in the event of fire, a collection volume of 2 x 220 litres and exhaust air monitoring unit with fan conforming to the Atex standard. And a canister cabinet for the storage of canisters according to ADR/RID and for safe filling of hazardous substances into smaller containers and exhaust monitoring unit with fan conforming to the Atex standard is also part of the product line.

Passed praxis test

The new concept has already passed an initial practical test: Global Research, the European research centre of General Electric, uses the system in its laboratory. Here the task is to remove solvent from a 200 litre drum, integrate it in a test setup and then to safely collect it again afterwards. The solution consists of two drum cabinets with pipe penetration according to EN 14470-1 with TÜV GS approval. A safety cabinet is used as the supply unit. The medium is pumped from a 200 litre drum in this cabinet using an explosion protected compressed air pump, and then the medium is pumped through the pipe penetration into the test setup. A collection tank is integrated in the second cabinet, and after the solvent has been used it gravity fed to this tank for collection.

 

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