[ID] => 11381
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-08-16 09:32:33
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-16 08:32:33
[post_content] => The cream of the world’s explosives technical and regulatory experts held their annual meeting in Swakopmund, on the coast of Namibia in March 2019 hosted by Namibian Police Force. The Explosives, Propellants and Pyrotechnics (EPP) working group of the International Group of Experts on the Explosion Risks of Unstable Substances (IGUS) and the International Conference of Chief Inspectors of Explosives (CIE) met for one week to exchange information on the behaviour of unstable substances, with respect to production, handling, storage and transport.
The meeting was attended by 65 delegates from Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Japan, Namibia, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the US, with a rough split between industry and government representation. Industry delegates were a mixture of testing laboratories, manufacturers, industry associations and transporters. The government delegates represented testing laboratories and inspectors.
This article is based on a report on the meeting kindly provided by Ken Price of Riskom International, Australia; it concentrates on those issues relevant to the transport and storage of explosives.
The IGUS and CIE forums are regularly used by delegates to develop their ideas and proposals for changes to the UN Model Regulations and the 2019 meeting was no exception. Ben Barrett (representing the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Institute - SAAMI), Bob Ford (Safety Management Services) and Noel Hsu (Orica) led several discussions on proposals for change.
One proposal was to modify the documentation requirements in the UN Model Regulations to no longer require that the net explosives mass be shown for Division 1.4 explosives. The proponents were of the opinion that information is never used and serves no useful purpose as they believed that Division 1.4 explosives will not mass explode.
Another proposal was to add the term “significant” before “fire or explosion” in the 12-metre drop test assessment found in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria. This would match the terminology used in the introduction to that test method and harmonise the intent of the test with the assessment of results. The paper also proposed to define the term “explosion”. Several delegates expressed some reservations about the proposal as drafted, but there was some support for the principle.
A third paper proposed a review of Compatibility Groups. During the discussion it was pointed out that although most compatibility groups are assigned on the basis of the type of explosive represented, compatibility groups N and S are both based on tests rather than intrinsic properties. This further illustrates that fact that explosives assigned to Division 1.4 Compatibility Group S are treated as though they were a separate division.
The proposal is to expand paragraph 184.108.40.206.2 of the Model Regulations to reflect wording already in the Manual of Tests and Criteria, clarifying that tests 5, 6 and 7 are used to assign classification, with test series 6 specifically used to allocate substances and articles to divisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.4 Compatibility Group S
(underscored text is proposed to be added to the Manual Regulations).
Still on UN issues, it was proposed to revise the assessment criteria for test 6(d) found in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria to more accurately reflect the original intent of the test: the detection of hazardous effects
outside the package due to normal functioning of an article inside.
Finally, in light of the introduction of the Minimum Burning Pressure (MBP) Test into the Manual of Tests and Criteria (test 8.e), there was an opinion that substances subjected to the 8.e test should not be required to undergo the Vented Pipe Test (VPT) since the MBP is an inherent property of the substance and not subject to effects of scale, which the VPT was attempting to ascertain. Several participants at the meeting concluded that it was time Test Series 8 was reviewed to assess the value and effectiveness of the tests, particularly the 8 (d) test.
Given that the UN has recently introduced a specific proper shipping name and UN number for electronic detonators, there was a very timely presentation from Mr Xin Jin, head of MIIT’s Safety Production Department in China, on the usage and legal requirements for electronic detonators in China. China is planning to remove all non-electronic detonators from the market within three years. Their production of e-detonators has gone from 1.8 million in 2016 to 16 million in 2018 and continues to rise.
Delegates discussed their plans to apply the new proper shipping name and UN number; most said they will have to make adjustments to their processes once the changes filter down into the modal regulations.
That may not be the end of the change: Orica enlightened the group about the potential for wireless initiation systems, including completely robotic blasting.
Peter Howe of Platinum Explosives spoke on some developments available for avoiding fires in explosives vehicles, including tyre pressure monitors, wheel and tyre temperature monitors and large volume water-based extinguishers (the only effective way to extinguish tyre fires). He showed one of the fire protection systems industry is using in Australia that has saved at least two heavy vehicles on Australian roads.
On the topic of ammonium nitrate, Yara’s François Ledoux gave a presentation on the use of aluminium tanks for the transport of the substance, based on a research paper put together by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). This concluded that the use of aluminium tanks does not aggravate the already present risk of explosion in ammonium nitrate in the event of a fire. The meeting accepted that this was the case but felt that the use of aluminium tanks should always be part of a risk assessment – it may not be the best solution in all cases.
The next IGUS/CIE meeting will be held in Madrid, Spain from 19 to 24 April 2020. Those interested in the work of the group are invited to contact Ken Price by email at email@example.com.
[post_title] => Explosives: First class meeting
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => explosives-first-class-meeting
[post_modified] => 2019-08-16 09:32:33
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-16 08:32:33
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=11381
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