Q&A on Mitigating Conveyor Explosions and Fires, Part 4

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What does BE&E offer to Reduce the Risk of Fires and Explosions?

Our SMART Conveyors™—high-end drag chain conveyors—are fully enclosed and effectively control dust. They do not use pneumatics, so oxygen isn’t pumped onto the fuel, and their smooth operation means material won’t get jostled around. Unlike many other drag-chain conveyors, the only metal-on-metal contact in our machines occurs at the sprockets. Between these, the chains ride on plastic wear liners to reduce friction and heat. Also, we typically run our conveyors at less than one hundred feet per minute, which also reduces heat and gives crews extra moments to address a fire before it reaches the next step in the process.

What Are Your Solutions for Mitigating Fires?

BE&E offers bolt-on deluge systems for SMART Conveyors™, SMART Containers, and other large bins.

Deluge systems consist of open sprinkler heads, which turn on simultaneously to flood the conveyor when spark detectors sense a fire. It’s the best practice to place the detection in the infeed chute and another at the outfeed chute. This way, the system knows whether the fire has been extinguished before the material leaves the conveyor. If the fire has not been put out, the next conveyor in the line automatically gets turned on, and the process repeats.

A frequent issue with deluge systems is that maintenance crews do not clean them often enough due to the labor involved. As a result, the systems sometimes plug up and do not work when they’re needed. This happened at an engineered wood mill where one of our sales representatives worked.

To make it easier for maintenance teams, we designed our deluge nozzles with a quick release. This makes cleaning the nozzles much easier—crews can change out and clean the dirty nozzles in a more convenient location.

What Are Your Solutions for Mitigating Explosions?

We offer two solutions for mitigating explosions:

  • For our SMART Conveyors and bins, we offer explosion panels for outdoor applications and flameless explosion venting for indoor applications. All venting meets NFPA standards.
  • Explosion Suppression. In applications where explosions are of concern, we can equip our conveyors and bins with pressure detection and chemical suppression bottles to effectively reduce the explosion pressure and limit the damage.

Deflagration is a greater risk in vertical or near-vertical conveyors because the material can fall behind paddles and down the chute, creating a great amount of airborne dust. In such systems, such suppression may be warranted.

Suppression canisters react in milliseconds when triggered and emit a flame-retardant into the enclosure. In doing so, they extinguish the flame and greatly reduce the pressure, thereby limiting the damage to the machine and surrounding equipment.

Don’t let your mill go up in flames. Contact us to discuss your concerns today.

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