Westech Flame Arresters - An Explosive Situation
Explosions due to flame arrester failures are destructive, expensive and potentially deadly. Prior to 1989, no arrester provided protection against all types of flame propagation. In fact, no practical technology existed for testing detonation flame arresters used in piping systems. Existing flame arrester standards were clearly inadequate for in-line applications. Improper arrester selection and application lead to storage tank and processing unit explosions. Without an arrester designed and tested to meet the levels of protection required, the potential for a major disaster is high.
With the existing and future guidelines for emissions control comes a new challenge for safe facility operations. Installation of marine vapour recovery and destruction systems creates a high potential for disaster. In fact, an earlier explosion at a marine vapour control system in the U.S., pointed out the need for enhanced standards and in particular, the need for an adequate test standard for in-line arresters.
The advent of USCG, CSA and CEN standards is a major step forward in safe facility operation. Investigations and research continue on Detonation Flame Arresters.