Pay attention when it’s getting hot in here
It’s summer: The sun is out and shining!
Did you notice a change in readings? As the atmosphere gets hotter and hotter during the day, so do certain liquids. These liquids can turn into vapours or gasses at a certain point in the morning, exponentially increasing the LEL reading. For example, diesel will evaporate into a combustible gas +/- 52°C. While we usually don’t reach 52°C, certain spaces can easily reach temperatures beyond this temperature and will turn gasses and liquids in the category K2 into a flammable mixture.
For safety reasons, while storing or transporting chemical compounds and hydrocarbons, they are classified in K-classes regarding the flashpoint. They are classified in either K1, K2 or K3 meaning respectively flash point below 23°C, between 23-55°C and between 55-100°C.
The above phenomenon is called the ‘Flash point’ and has a specific value for each gas and liquid and is mentioned at the MSDS of the material. The flash point is sometimes confused with the autoignition temperature, the temperature that results in spontaneous autoignition. The fire point is the lowest temperature at which vapours of the material will keep burning after the ignition source is removed. The fire point is higher than the flash point, because at the flash point more vapor may not be produced rapidly enough to sustain combustion.
With these temperatures, it is important to measure not only the current temperature, but also the gas concentration, since they tend to shift rapidly adding yet another danger to an already dangerous environment.
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