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VOC Exposure & Explosion Control Systems

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The Flint Group are world leaders in the manufacture of offset printing blankets. The blankets are produced on a series of coating lines in which a solvent-rich rubber compound is added to a fabric carcass. The blankets are heated within the coatings lines, resulting in large amounts of solvents being emitted.

It is critical that the solvent vapours are extracted from the process and abated in a safe manner, reducing the risk of explosion within the process and minimising the impact on the environment.

In order to maximise production output, the client required and improve control of airborne solvents and temperature levels within different sections of the ovens. The balancing of heat across the length of the ovens whilst minimising airflow rates allowed for an improved and efficient removal of retained solvents.

Minimising the airflow across the ovens allowed and increased solvent-rich airflow to the regenerative thermal oxidiser. The level of solvent was never allowed to exceed 25% of the lower explosion limit (LEL); avoiding the risk of an explosive atmosphere being created within the ovens.

The designs that MECHon produced allowed the coating ovens to operate at speeds 40% higher than original (with corresponding increases to output) The quality of product was improved, with more consistent retained solvent levels across the length and width of the blankets. There was a significant reduction in natural gas use on the thermal oxidiser, due to the higher solvent content within the process air.

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