The National Electrical Code, or NEC, classifies hazardous areas into three different categories; Class I, Class II, and Class III. To use equipment in or around these types of areas, caution has to be taken in order to not cause an explosion or fire. In the U.S., the Underwriter’s Laboratory, UL, can certify products that can be used safely in these hazardous areas. EXAIR received our UL Classification for our new product line; the HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems. Under certain guidelines, the HazLoc Cabinet Coolers can be used in Class I for gases and vapors, Class II for flammable dust, and Class III for ignitable fibers and flyings. In this blog, I will be discussing the Class III classified area.
For a fire or an explosion to occur, we need three things as described in the fire triangle; oxygen, fuel, and an ignition source. For Class III areas, that fuel is a build-up of material like fabric lint and fine wood shavings. These small fibers can float and collect on equipment in the surrounding areas. This collection of material can easily ignite and cause a fire from a spark or a heat source, like kindling. These fibrous materials and flyings are not explosive, but as a collection, they are a fire hazard; the reason for the Class III designation. This newest hazardous classification is generally located within the textile and woodworking industries.
The ignition source (the second leg of the fire triangle) is generally from electrical equipment, heat, and static. Arcs and sparks from motors, contactors, and switches can easily ignite Class III materials; as well as high temperatures from equipment. NEC and UL segregate this hazardous location into two divisions. Class III Division 1 is in an area where fibers/flyings are handled, manufactured, or used. Class III Division 2 is where the fibers/flyings are stored or handled other than in the process of manufacturing. In both divisions, it is important to protect your electrical systems from these small fibers floating in the surrounding air.
The EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems are designed to keep your electrical panels cool within hazardous areas like Class III because system shutdowns from electrical overheating are costly and potentially dangerous. If you would like to discuss the details about the EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Coolers, an Application Engineer at EXAIR will be happy to help you.
I was doing some work around the house Saturday when I heard my wife shouting out from our laundry room….”Something is wrong with our dryer. This is the 3rd time I’ve restarted it and the clothes are still wet!”. Now having been in this situation before, I knew this meant that the exhaust was probably clogged with lint (again).
See, our laundry room runs parallel to our family room and the exhaust ducting goes up and then across the laundry room, across the family room and then exhausts on the side of the house. (I would like to find the person who thought this was a good idea!). I have thought about re-routing the ducting but the only other option would be to have the exhaust on the front of the house which will “never happen” (per my wife). So I usually end up taking my vacuum and attaching as many extensions as possible to reach as much of the ducting as I can. I have tried a few other methods with no success – like taking my leaf blower and, from the outside of the house, blow the lint back towards the laundry room and into a garbage can. (hint: make SURE your wife is not in the laundry room when attempting this…. They don’t react too well when they get covered in lint!)
This made me think of an application I worked on last week with an aluminum extrusion company. The customer cuts lengths of aluminum siding from 1’ up to 10’ in length and, standing at one end of the material, are using a standard blow gun to try and blow out the chips but are unsuccessful. They reviewed our website but were still unsure what product may fit their needs best, so they gave us a call.
We discussed their application and the customer was able to email pictures. After reviewing the pictures I recommended using one of our Soft Grip Safety Air Guns with our Model # HP1125, 2” Flat High Power Super Air Nozzle and a 72” extension. The Soft Grip Safety Air Gun is constructed of cast aluminum and includes a hook for hanging in a convenient location. The Model # HP1125, 2” High Power Flat Super Air Nozzle, produces 2.2 lbs. of force @ 80 PSIG and utilizes 37 SCFM with a sound level of 83 dBA. This would also meet or exceed the OSHA standards for safety, per Standard 1910.242(b) for 30 psi dead end pressure, and allowable noise exposure per Standard 29 CFR – 1910.95(a).