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Plastic containers for flammable liquids/hazardous areas

This report contains an assessment of the electrostatic risks associated with a selection of commonly available plastic containers ranging in size from 50 ml bottles to 1000 l Intermediate Bulk Containers, and manufactured from a variety of materials.

The containers are assessed by measuring the amount of charge transferred from their surfaces in an electrostatic discharge, after being charged by rubbing with the most suitable materials for optimum charging. The charge transfer values obtained can then be compared to maximum permitted values for different gas groups contained in EN13463-1:2001.

Incendivity tests were also conducted on the discharges from the containers, which give an indication of typical amounts of charge transfer actually required for ignition in a practical situation, as a guide for incident ignition assessments.

A description of the types and purposes of most of the various designs of IBC currently available is included, in particular those designed for zone 1 and zone 2 usages.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-06-29