Maintenance & Service
"How do they work ?"
A Flame Arrester (UK spelling) / Arrestor (USA spelling) are designed to absorb the heat from a flame front traveling at subsonic velocities, which then drops the burning gas/air mixture below its ignition temperature, meaning the flame cannot survive (fire triangle). The heat is absorbed through channels (passages) designed into an element. These channels are chosen and measured as the MESG (maximum experimental safe gap) of the gas for a particular installation. These passages can be regular, like crimped metal ribbon or wire mesh or a sheet metal plate with punched holes, depending on manufacture and design.
"Why is it essential that Flame Arresters should be regularly serviced & maintained ?"
Essentially flame arresters are safety devices, as described above they prevent flames or sparks that could potentially cause a major incident, because of this its vitally important that these devices are regularly inspected and maintained so they can do there job.
The usual industry standard for inspections and maintenance is a maximum of 12 months between service intervals.
Performing inspections and regular maintenance can identify any issues that could stop the flame arrestor from functioning correctly for example if there is damage to elements from a flashback or short burning time, the element would need replacing asap or if dirt and debris had entered the flame arrester blocking the channels of the element this would need cleaning and unblocking to allow the element to pass gas/air correctly. Any issues with the element and the Maximum Experimental Safe Gap (MESG) can compromise the functionality of the flame arrester and could affect the flame arrester extinguishing a flame !!!!