Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 13:42:07 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
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From: Pete Vail <petevail**At_Symbol_Here**YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Explosion Proof Refrigerator Storage
In-Reply-To: <1610762835.9780.1280509265034.JavaMail.root**At_Symbol_Here**>

Note that you can find 2 types of refrigerators for flammable materials 
from major lab supply companies.

Explosion proof refrigerators are designed with sealed controls, motor, 
and plugs to prevent sparks inside AND outside of the unit.  These are 
for use in explosion proof labs.

Flammable material storage refrigerators use standard (external) motors 
and plugs but all sources of sparks on the inside of the unit are sealed 
(or removed).

Peter Vail
Tosoh Bioscience

Don Abramowitz wrote:
> Generally, it is not necessary to store flammable liquids in an 
> explosion proof refrigerator.  Flammable liquid cabinets are ideal for 
> ordinary storage.  Your reference to 37.8 degrees C seems to 
> correspond to the definition of a flammable liquid (a liquid with a 
> flash point at or below 100 degrees F).  I've never seen that as a 
> criteria for deciding what materials require refrigeration.  
> (Flashpoint is simply the temperature at which a solvent gives off 
> enough vapor that it can be ignited with a spark and continue to 
> burn.  Gasoline has a flash point well below zero, and it rests 
> comfortably in our car gas tanks on hot days.)
> Explosion proof refrigerators come into play when you decide, for 
> whatever reason, that you want to refrigerate flammable liquids.  This 
> is because putting flammable liquids in a regular refrigerators 
> creates an ignition hazard.
> I don't know of anyone who converts regular refrigerators to explosion 
> proof ones.  For an ordinary stockroom situation, I see no need to 
> store all of your flammable solvents under refrigeration.
>                  Don
> Donald Abramowitz
> Environmental Health & Safety Officer
> Bryn Mawr College
> Bryn Mawr, PA
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     We are in the process of annual review of our chemical inventory
>     and I was hoping to get some help with the specific guidelines of
>     what chemicals must be stored in our explosion proof refrigerator.
>      I have read several resources that indicate a flashpoint of 37.8C
>     is the cut off however this covers a lot of lab solvents and I
>     would not have enough room.  Our acetone for example is stored in
>     our vented flammable cabinets.  Does anyone know of a site which
>     gives detailed information on refrigerator storage.  Also our
>     stockroom only has an explosion proof refrigerator and vented
>     flammable cabinets we have no "Flammable" refrigerators available.
>     Does anyone in the Chicago area know of a company that can convert
>     our household refrigerators into flammable ones?   As always thank
>     you all in advanc for the help.
>     Kathleen Schmidt-Nebril, NRCC-CHO
>     Chemistry Division Department of Natural Science
>     Dominican University
>     River Forest, IL 60305
>     708-524-6533

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