Why are non-sparking tools called safety tools?
Workplace safety has become one of the major concerns of the manufacturing industry. When it’s about preventing occupational risks, certain requirements must be fulfilled, especially in ATEX classified areas.
One of the requirements that should be taken care of is the use of precise hand tools.
By using precise hand tools, you can solve one of the major problems in the ATEX classified areas, and that is friction ignition. This is caused when two metals come in contact with each other and generate a spark, enough to cause situations of fire and explosion.
To prevent such situations and keep safety at the top, the industrial sector must move to the use of anti-spark or non-sparking safety tools.
What are non-sparking tools?
Non-Sparking Tools, a.k.a safety tools, are made of non-ferrous metals (metals that do not contain iron) and eliminate the risk of a spark being ignited when they are in use. They are referred to as safety tools because of their ability to protect against fire and explosions in environments containing flammable gases, vapors, residues, dust, or liquids.
While working in confined spaces and environments with flammable materials, using anti-sparking tools can be the best practice.
The materials used in their making
As mentioned earlier, the tools are made from non-ferrous metals like bronze, brass, and alloys of copper-nickel, copper- aluminum, or copper-beryllium. Even non-metals like wood, plastic, and leather can make these tools as they are also spark-resistant.
Because non-ferrous metals are used in making the non-sparking tools, they are softer than the standard tools made from metals like steel. The tools have lower tensile strength and resistance, which makes them wear out more quickly. But a single advantage makes them precede the normal hand tools, and that is they generate cold sparks with a relatively low level of heat, inadequate to ignite any substance.
Here is a brief summary of properties that each material adds to safety tools and equipment:
Plastic: Tools made from plastic possess great non-magnetic properties that make them a must-have for professionals working in ATEX zones.
Aluminum Copper: Known for its lightweight, the tools offer excellent reliability and durability.
Beryllium Copper: Possess high tensile strength ranging from 1280 to 1480 MPa, making them the strongest non-sparking tool.
Brass: Tools made from brass serve longer and have an aesthetic shine. They are a little expensive but worth your investment.
Bronze: Conductive yet don’t spark. They can be a part of your tool kit and help you carry your industrial tasks safely.
The right way to use non-sparking safety tools
Here are some tips that will help you use the safety tools the right way and ensure their lasting working.
- Don’t use tools in direct contact with acetylene, especially in the presence of moisture, as the same will lead to the creation of highly dangerous explosive acetals.
- Frequently sharpen these tools using the standard procedures and wearing necessary safety gear for the face and hands.
- After every use, clean the tools precisely to ensure that no ferrous contaminants are left on their surface that can degrade their non-sparking properties.
- Make sure that your ATEX industrial environment has an efficient ventilation facility to remove harmful & flammable vapors, dust, and residues from the atmosphere.
By following the mentioned tips, you can ensure safety in your workplace.
What makes non-sparking tools the best safety tools?
The tools are made from non-ferrous metals that possess excellent corrosion-resistant properties. This makes them ideal to use in flammable environments to contact various chemicals like acids and alkali without creating a hazardous environment. Additionally, the tools are non-magnetic, so they will not create electronic disturbances in the industry, keeping the safety standard high.
The non-sparking tools possess unique properties that make them ideal to use in ATEX or flammable environments. Owing to these tools, the working of different industries like chemicals, oil & gas, coal mines, pharmaceuticals, etc., has become easier and more safety prone.
The safety tools are different from regular hand tools and promise a long-serving life. With these tools, professionals can carry operations efficiently without putting their safety at stake.
If you want to minimize the risk of fire and explosion in your industry, investing in non-sparking hand tools will worth every single penny of your money.