Electrostatic charges in hazardous locations represent an enormous danger, as they are likely to discharge instantaneously with a strong spark emission, thus becoming an ignition source for potentially explosive mixtures. This is why floor coverings used in compression stations and gas pressure control plants must not exceed a defined maximum resistance to earth. The project, launched by the BG expert committee for gas and water, was aimed to determine whether or not in such locations the resistance to earth of the floor coverings is affected by ageing of the covering or the floor itself. The influence of environmental factors on the resistance to earth was also investigated.
The resistance to earth was measured in more than 50 gas pressure control plants and compression stations with the floor structure being documented in parallel. Test samples of various floors and different floor covering systems for electrostatic dissipation were prepared to analyse the effect of climatic, chemical and mechanical factors. The behaviour of these samples in terms of resistance to earth was investigated in the laboratory.
Approximately 50% of the plants were equipped with a special floor covering with electrostatic dissipation properties; these coverings had mostly been realised by applying several electrostatically dissipating coats of paint to the floor. The resistance to earth measurements provided values below the admissible limit. In the remaining plants dissipating floor coverings were missing; the corresponding resistance values were found to be inadmissibly high. As to the samples analysed in laboratory tests, neither ageing nor environmental factors turned out to seriously decrease their dissipation ability for electrostatic charges. The use of inappropriate cleaning agents, however, may cause such decrease. The investigations served to evaluate the long-term behaviour of floor coverings with an electrostatic dissipation ability in view of compliance with the limits defined in the regulations and guidelines of the German Berufsgenossenschaften BGR 132 (former ZH 1/200) dealing with the avoidance of ignition hazards due to electrostatic charges also in the presence of environmental factors.
Sicherheitstechnische Untersuchungen von elektrostatisch ableitfähigen Fußböden in Gasdruckregelanlagen und Verdichterstationen. BIA-Report 1/86. Hrsg.: Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG), Sankt Augustin 1986
energy managementType of hazard:
Anlagensicherheit, Brand- und ExplosionsschutzDescription, key words:
hazardous location, floor coverings of compression stations and gas pressure control plants, electrostatic discharge, ignition source for potentially explosive mixtures, behaviour of the resistance to earth, effect of environmental factors, energy management industry, safety of plants, fire and explosion protection