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Intrinsic safety revisited in the chemical process industries of the 90's

Authors
Journal
ISA Transactions
0019-0578
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
32
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0019-0578(93)90072-5
Disciplines
  • Chemistry
  • Economics

Abstract

Abstract In the early '70s, with the advent of electronic instrumentation, the chemical process industries (CPI) were forced to look at methods of compliance with hazardous area classification for the new electrical control loops. There was an obvious economic desire to move away from classic explosion-proof enclosures, rigid conduit and poured gas-tight seals. Non-incendiary, energy-limited and intrinsically safe were three methods championed as providing safety, economy in construction and on-line hot work without the need for gas testing. These new safety technologies were challenging concepts for certifying authorities such as FM, UL, CSA, BASEEFA, etc., who had historically looked at devices alone and not at entire control loops. Many CPI production sites and their control system suppliers extensively espoused the new safety and economy these technologies promised. This paper will explore field experience, discuss an energy-limiting device (ELTM) and a case study of a barrier-related incident. Finally, it will explore the question, “If we were to build a plant today, how would we build it so as to best achieve a safe, economic and workable instrumentation and control system installation?”

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