What Is A Non-Sparking Tool And Where Is It Used?

Published : 04/28/2020 15:13:51
Categories : Professional working tools guide

Today on the Mister Worker™ Blog we talk about non-sparking tools, also known as explosion proof tools or ATEX tools, with AMPCO Safety Tools®, a company specialized in the production of non-sparking, non-magnetic and corrosion-resistant hand tools since 1922.

What is a non-sparking tool and where is it used?

Having a comprehensive, proactive safety and health management system, especially in industries with a high risk of explosion or fire, is one of the most important factors to reduce workplace hazards and injuries caused mostly by unsafe acts or conditions. Choosing the right non-sparking tools will minimize the risk of explosions in these potentially explosive areas or ATEX zones for "ATmosphere EXplosible". 

Since 1922, AMPCO Safety Tools® has the expertise to manifacture the best and highest quality non-sparking, non-magnetic tools in the market, providing the widest range of safety hand tools, unique for their unbeatable strength and durability. Our catalogue includes non-sparking wrenches, ratchets and sockets, hammers and axes, screwdrivers, pliers and much more.

Non-sparking tools are what we call safety tools, which are used to minimize the risk of explosions when working in an ATEX Zone such as Oil refineries, Offshore oil rig, Chemical industry, Paint warehouse, Spray booth, Coal mines and also the grain Silos. 

What are the most important features to consider when choosing an explosion-proof tool?

After defining the zones and environments where we will be using the explosion proof tools, one of the most important features to consider to choose the proper tool is the right material, which depends on the type of tool and its use. A lot of materials can be non-sparking but what is sought for tools is a fairly good resistance, allowing them to be used in good conditions.

It is very important to choose and use the right tool for a specific given task to allow workers to perform it in less time and move on to a new one. Choosing the right non-sparking tool will not only help to prevent accidents but also avoid high costs to the company, such as damaged infrastructure, material to be restored or even costs caused by accidents.

The most used materials for the manufacture of these explosion proof tools are usually alloys of non-ferrous materials. AMPCO SAFETY TOOLS® has chosen two types of materials as a priority to get a stronger and durable tool: Aluminum Bronze and Beryllium Copper.

Beryllium Copper reaches a high hardness, from 280 to 350 Brinell, and it is used exclusively for tools with surfaces intended to cut, such as saw blades and cutting pliers, or small surfaces requiring hardness like the screwdriver tips.

Aluminium Bronze has a higher energy absorption capacity and higher resistance to shocks thanks to its flexibility. This material is the right choice for tools that are more likely to wear such as striking wrenches or hammers

To produce a high-performance aluminium bronze and specialty copper alloys tools, AMPCO SAFETY TOOLS® uses the MICROCAST® process. This patented technology provides better homogeneity through fine and uniform grain size, resulting in higher wear resistance.

Do non-sparking tools need special care for their maintenance and storage?

It is important to keep in mind that non-sparking tools are not as strong as steel tools. For this reason, they wear out more quickly depending on the working environment and the care given to maintain them. It is highly recommended to carry out exhaustive maintenance of your tools in order to extend their life. Take into consideration the following advice: 

- Choose the right size for the right task to prevent the tool from falling.

- Avoid contact with corrosive products such as ferrous or other contaminants that may affect non-sparking properties. 

- Clean the non-sparking tool after use in order to avoid deterioration.

- Never use your non-sparking tools in environments with acetylene as it can cause explosive acetylides.

- Non-sparking tools that are likely to wear such as hammers or striking wrenches should be checked frequently.

Have there been any innovations in the field of safety tools in recent years? If so, which ones?

AMPCO Safety Tools® is always thinking of people’s safety. The introduction of a revolutionary safe striking wrench called Safewrench® is the perfect example. A true innovation based on a classic tool that was turned into a safer one being acclaimed by many end-users. 

Everybody knows that hammers and striking wrenches can be very dangerous tools. If you do not manipulate them properly and carefully, the wrench or hammer can fall off or fly away posing a major risk, which can cause serious injuries.  

Safewrench® is a patented striking wrench which holds firmly on a nut or bolt thanks to its internal retaining rings. The user can hit the striking wrench by keeping both hands on the hammer, providing more precision and force. Safewrench® is available in non-sparking and steel material.

In the market of non-sparking tools, how does AMPCO SAFETY TOOLS® stand out from competing brands?

AMPCO Safety Tools® is the specialist in non-sparking, non-magnetic and corrosion-resistant hand tools. We have been investing since 1922 in the best and highest quality materials to produce the widest line of non-sparking tools available in the market.
We are producing the tools by using its own casting procedure called MICROCAST®. This process allows us to produce a material with much higher resistance thanks to the homogeneity and fine grain structure.
AMPCO SAFETY TOOLS® grants a lifetime warranty on all its products if countries allow it. We repair or replace any tool free of charge if it breaks or fails to perform under normal service. Normal wear or damage through misuse is not covered.

To maintain and ensure the highest quality of the products, numerous tests are achieved by our engineers and approved by independent testing laboratories. The German TÜV laboratory tested and declared that all materials used to produce the AMPCO SAFETY TOOLS® products are explosion-proof. Hardness, chemistry, torque, breakage, grain size, durability, and dimensions are the main tests we operate.
Several certificates guarantee the quality in our products like EN10204 classes: 2.1– 2.2 – 3.1 – 3.2 and ISO certificate 9001:2015.
AMPCO SAFETY TOOLS® have highly qualified salespeople that are willing to advise and help you in any demand providing you a remarkable and personalized service. 

What can we expect from AMPCO SAFETY TOOLS® in the future?

AMPCO Safety Tools® keeps the same main topic in mind, that is ‘safety’. Slogans such as ‘protecting lives since 1922’ or ‘Tools are precious as life’ really mean something for the brand. The company commits to keep all workers safe for the next generations, permanently searching solutions and improvements to provide the best quality and most secure tools.  

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