DSEAR / ATEX legislation – thermal fluid systems and representative fluid analysis

Manufacturers can ensure regulatory compliance by following the ATEX triangle

Thermal fluids can become volatile and hazardous, resulting in an explosive atmosphere, if conditions are allowed to deteriorate:

  • If there is a loss of containment or a fluid leak
  • Resulting hydrocarbons are released as vapour – these represent the most volatile offshoot of the product (known as the light ends)
  • A leak may produce an ‘aerosol’ of finely divided material – the greater the pressure, the higher the risk
  • The risk increases when thermal fluid has degenerated and flash points, boiling points and auto ignition temperatures have reduced – the lower the flash points, the higher the risk
  • The hotter the system bulk fluid temperature, the higher the risk