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laboratory testing

Almost every industrial company is involved in the handling of flammable solvents and gases. The unexpected ignition of these materials is not uncommon and the consequences often have significant ramifications for the success of a company.

The understanding of the hazardous properties of materials under processing conditions is a prerequisite for safety evaluation. Literature values may be available for standard properties of liquids, gases and vapours but even these may not be adequate if your processing environment involves mixture or blends, reactive systems or elevated temperatures or pressures.

Operating an industrial facility free from fire and explosion hazards requires a strategic assessment procedure including the following areas:

  • Characterise the hazardous properties of all materials used with due regard to the conditions of use
  • Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify hazardous areas and potential ignition sources
  • Implement safety systems such that fire and explosion hazards are either eliminated or controlled.

Critical to fulfilling this strategic assessment and having an effective Basis of Safety with an industrial process is ensuring an operating company has a full understanding of the flammability characteristics of all combustible materials used. This will not only be for liquids gases and vapours but combustible dusts.

How Can Chilworth Help

We provide a comprehensive service for all stages of fire and explosion hazard evaluation. We offer independent Consultancy advice carrying out fire and explosion hazard and risk assessments in order to identify potentially hazardous materials and determine if these need to be experimentally characterised.

If they do, our GLP and ISO 9001-compliant laboratories are equipped with a full range of test apparatus for material characterisation. As well as a complete complement of British, European and Internationally recognised standard test methods, we offer a wide-range of tests for the evaluation of parameters under "non-standard" conditions (eg. elevated temperature and pressure).

explosivity testing

The range of tests for the characterisation of flammable gases and vapours include: -

  • Autoignition temperature (AIT)
  • Closed-cup flashpoint
  • Upper and lower explosive limits (UEL and LEL)
  • Analysis of gas / vapour explosion severity (Kg and Pmax)
  • Limiting oxygen concentration for combustion (LOC)
  • Gas classification group (MIC)
  • Minimum ignition energy (MIE).
  • Aerosol and foam flammability
  • Flame speed measurements
  • Vapour pressure measurement

Chilworth's laboratories in the UK can handle most liquid and gaseous materials, even if they are toxic, highly corrosive, highly potent or a controlled substance and can offer a fast turnaround service if required. Because we enter into a partnership with our clients, we strive to ensure that only essential testing is undertaken, that our reports are comprehensive and meaningful, and that specialists are on hand to provide expert advice on the interpretation of results. Our commitment to customer satisfaction means that we will work with you to tailor our testing and reporting to your specific process safety needs and within budget..

Independent professional advice

It doesn’t just stop with measuring a parameter or identifying a flammability characteristic of liquid, gas or vapour The experience and versatility of our technical staff means that for any given problem, we will endeavour to find the most appropriate and cost effective way of helping you understand the hazards of your specific materials or process. The laboratory facilities are supported by a team of highly experienced process safety specialists who can help our clients interpret and use the data in the context of a manufacturing process.

Our Process Safety Specialists will interpret the data and provide independent consulting advice on explosion prevention and guidance on choice and design of explosion protection systems, be it relief venting, containment, suppression, use of inert gas or isolation techniques.