Case Studies » Structural Adhesives
Structural Adhesives Limited operates out of a facility in Leicester LE5 3NW; the facility had been established for twenty years and incorporates the production of both acrylic and epoxy adhesives. The company intended to move to a new facility in the near future and this was looked around as part of the site survey.
Routine plant operations allow for reception, handling and transfer of a range of flammable substances that may generate a flammable atmosphere under certain conditions. A key component used in acrylic production is Methyl Methacrylate (MMA).
Above its 10°C flash-point, flammable MMA vapour-air mixtures are explosive. Violent eruption of closed containers may also occur if polymerisation is initiated by elevated temperatures, oxidisers, peroxides, or sunlight. MMA is sensitive to static discharge and flammable vapours can flow along surfaces to distant ignition source and flash back.
The solution provided
It is a DSEAR requirement that hazards are eliminated / reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable (ALARP) and the report provided details of what needed to be designed into the new facility in order to minimise DSEAR risk to an acceptable level. The recommendations made focused upon the need to:
- Prevent the risk of vapours reaching flammable or explosive levels through suitable ventilation;
- Additionally the need to remove/minimise any sources of ignition;
- Instal suitable anti-static measures to limit vapour ignition hazard with verified earth continuity testing included.
A series of potential improvements were identified to management in order to minimise DSEAR risks at both the existing and new facilities.