VIDEO – road tanker fire – probable cause was electrostatic discharge


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Krzysztof Tetla

A spark from an electrostatically charged individual can reach a value of 90 mJ, which is sufficient to ignite virtually all flammable gases and vapours of liquids used in industry and even several dusts (e.g. flour, sugar, aluminium, many pharmaceutical products, epoxy resin, etc.). A road tanker, due to its much larger electrostatic capacity, can be a source of an electrostatic spark with the energy reaching 2250 mJ. For this reason, vehicles of this type can be a very effective source of ignition for an explosive atmosphere. An example of such an incident is presented in the video below.

See also – additional materials

In many industries, electrostatic discharges are one of the most important sources of ignition. Below, we have collected very interesting materials showing the scale of the potential threat in one place. In our list, you will find a case study revealing how the explosive atmosphere created when an employee dumped powder from a plastic barrel into a metal tank was ignited and two videos. The first one shows how flammable liquid vapours were ignited when the liquid was poured from a barrel into an IBC container. The second one shows strong electrostatic discharges generated during the operation of a belt conveyor.

  1. [Case study] – dust cloud ignition with static electricity
  2. [VIDEO] – electrostatic discharge led to ignition and explosion of flammable liquid vapours
  3. [Video] – strong electrostatic discharge during belt conveyor operation

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