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FIBC static electricity monitor keeps vigil in dangerous areas

Danger of fires and explosions posed by a buildup of static electricity when filling or discharging material from Type C Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs) and similar semiconductive containers is controlled by the use of the Earth-Rite FIBC grounding system from Newson Gale Inc.

The FM- and ATEX-approved systems constantly monitor Type C containers (SuperSacks) and similar containers, ensuring that the containers' anti-static features are within the correct specifications and achieving a constant positive ground connection.

While most Type C containers feature a conductive construction to deal with static buildup, they do not provide positive assurance that buildup will not occur since external factors might also be involved. For example, the grounding clamp may not be attached properly or the conductive fibers of the bag could have been damaged in prior use. It is also possible that the container itself may not be appropriate for the application at hand.

The Earth-Rite FIBC system provides verification that the bag's anti-static construction is functional and that it is correctly grounded. The fail-safe interlock design will allow product transfer only when the resistance through the container is less than 1×108 ohms. While Type C FIBC applications are most common applications, the system can also be used to monitor similar static dissipative materials such as drum linings, kegs, and hoses.

Should unacceptable readings be registered, an alarm signal LED is lighted and the system remains inoperable, ensuring that safe operating procedures are followed. Readings are taken through a special insulated monitoring clamp attached to the conductive ground loop of the FIBC. To suit various types of filling/discharging machinery the system is offered in two formats: one that monitors resistance between the grounded lifting loops and a clamp attached to ground, and another monitoring resistance between two separate clamps with respect to ground.

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