Fixed Monitoring for Isocyanates at Foam Production Plant
Aug 08 2018
A large, global foam manufacturer approached a1-cbiss to provide a fixed gas detection system for the monitoring of Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI).
TDI fumes are created as a by-product in the production of foam.
Although the enclosed foam production area is well ventilated and the employees are fully equipped with the adequate personal protective equipment, excess fumes may escape the area and leak into the wider production area causing a risk to employees.
What are the risks of TDI?
Prolonged exposure to concentrations of TDI can cause bronchial asthma and rapidly affect lung function. Short-term exposure to TDI can cause coughing, tightness of the chest, chest pains as well as skin irritation and eye irritation.
A need for change
As part of their previous safety program, employee protection in the production plant relied purely on human judgement, leading to low productivity and reduced production times. In addition, this 'monitoring' system lacked any way to provide an accurate representation of how much gas was leaking in coordination with EH40 guidelines.
The Production and Health & Safety Managers began to look into a fixed gas detection system that could provide employee confidence by providing an alarm should TDI exposure reach exposure limits.
It was at this point that a1-cbiss were referred to the company because of their gas detection expertise.
a1-cbiss conduct site survey
An a1-cbiss gas detection engineer visited site to conduct a complete site survey and consider a number of parameters including; the location of the leak, the dimensions of the monitoring area, current ventilation, the rate of gas leak, the direction it was leaking in, alarm thresholds and communication outputs.
ChemLogic Continuous Gas Monitor
The site survey deduced that two single channel Dodtec ChemLogic Continuous Gas Monitors (CL1) would be required to provide protection for the production area.
Utilising widely used and proven chemically impregnated, paper tape (colorimetric) technology, the CL1 can provide detection of TDI’s at ppb levels. On detection of the target gas, a chemical reaction between the gas and tape creates a colour stain, which in turn is analysed by a sophisticated optical system, converting the colour stain into a ppb measurement.
An effective safety system that keeps people safe at work
a1-cbiss are experienced in system integration, therefore, we were able to send an installation team out to site to professionally install the CL1 in accordance with the safety needs of the site.
Employee protection is of paramount importance, so alarm levels were planned in line with current EH40 guidelines for measuring TDI. The CL1 gas monitor was set to two independent alarm thresholds, which triggered a relay alarm once thresholds were reached. The alarm was connected to a local beacon/sounder for local notification to production staff.
Since the installation of the CL1 gas monitors by a1-cbiss, the Production and Health & Safety Managers are now confident that the production plant has an effective gas detection system in place to help protect the production staff at all times.
a1-cbiss are the UK and European distributor for Dodtec that can supply the whole package from specification to system installation and ongoing service support.
For more information, please click here or call 0151 321 0278.
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