Fike Launches Bidirectional Explosion Diverter

Fike has introduced a bidirectional explosion diverter to enhance its range of passive explosion protection equipment. The diverter - also commonly referred to as a back flash interrupter or an explosion decoupler - will enable the protection of new and existing vessels to be validated using a passive device. Although in certain circumstances there is still a limited risk of flame propagation, it can still be used as a risk-reduction measure even where there is no vessel protection in place.

The company recommends that further advice should be sought if this is the intended duty so that a full risk assessment can be carried out. There are nine nominal sizes available for the diverter, ranging from DN100 to DN600. Fike offers a third-party-tested and -approved non-fragmenting explosion vent certified for use on this type of device. This application requires specific testing and approval due to the demanding requirements and therefore standard explosion vents are not suitable. The company has carried out extensive testing on the diverter at its large-scale test facilities so that application guidance is available and limitations of use are well defined.

The bulged vent ensures a smooth flow diversion; coupled with low burst pressure and inertia, the diverter will provide a low risk of flame propagation beyond the diverter. If deflagrations are allowed to propagate through pipes, they have a high probability of being able to transition from a deflagration to a detonation. A deflagration propagating through a conveying line may cause pressure piling, rapid flame acceleration and transition to detonation if not disengaged in a timely manner.

The resulting explosion will not only damage the pipeline and accessories, but also make the adequate protection of downstream process equipment (such as dust collectors, dryers and silos) virtually impossible due to the effects of flame jet ignition and pressure piling in the receiving vessel or apparatus. An explosion diverter limits the effects of explosions propagating through pipes to an acceptable and safe level.

While full isolation (flame and pressure) cannot be achieved, the diverter will control the explosion as it propagates through the pipe down to a level that allows the use of other protective techniques and enables the design engineer to use standard industry codes (such as NFPA, EN and VDI) to size the protection systems on the secondary receiving vessel (and the primary vessel). Fike mechanical explosion isolation valves, chemical barriers or pneumatic explosion isolation protection valves will prevent the explosion transfer entirely.


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