The number of the insulating materials, including fiberglass products, are widely used in the construction, industry, oil and gas facilities, agro-industrial complex, transport, and defense.
When using fiberglass, like some other insulating materials, it is possible to encounter their destruction and perforation, followed by a transition to the source of double-sided corona effect. Sliding spark discharges of static electricity, capable of igniting a combustible or explosive environment, are also likely to occur. The formation of such discharges depends primarily on the electrostatic and electrical strength properties of the used materials. These parameters should be used when assessing the most dangerous consequences of the fiberglass application in the process pipelines, apparatus, and equipment under the conditions of electrification processes.
Comparison of the electrostatic and electrical strength properties of the corona-forming air layer in the electrization processes with the similar indicators of non-conductive structural materials is the main criterion that determines the possibility of their perforation and the occurrence of spontaneous sliding spark discharges. Electrostatic intrinsic safety should be ensured by eliminating static electricity discharges that are capable to become the flammable substances source of ignition (materials, mixtures, products). Sliding sparks can be eliminated by managing the electrostatic load. But at the same time, the hazard of ignition by discharges would remain if they could occur.
When replacing the metal element (the wall of an apparatus or vessel) electrified by a liquid (technological medium), a product made of an insulating material, including fiberglass, with similar geometric, technical, and operational parameters, it is possible to maintain the efficient protection of the metal structure by means of its grounding.
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