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Static grounding (earthing) clamps connected by cables to ground-points prevent electrostatic charge accumulating in flammable and explosive atmospheres.

Many batch process operations require hundreds of earth connections to be made and broken every day, so it is essential good contact is made every time.

In the coatings, resins, adhesives, paints, solvents, explosive powders and related industries, it is common for process plants, associated containers, drums and IBCs to build up layers of product or rust.

These layers can form an unpredictable insulating barrier that can defeat clamps (welding clamps) and other methods of making earth connections.

Even the thinnest layers of coatings can inhibit connections with mechanical devices with high contact surface areas.

Under Atex, earthing clamps must meet specific criteria to be certified as suitable for use in hazardous areas.

For example, an earthing clamp made from aluminium must be coated with material that will not contribute to mechanical sparking under normal operating conditions if it is to be used in a Zone 0 or 20 area.

There are also limitations on the amount of plastic that can be used in the clamp body as this may enable surface accumulation of static charge.

Combined with structural robustness testing, US approval bodies such as FM Global assess several other design criteria essential for static earthing clamps.

In hazardous locations, the electrical resistance across the clamp, including contacts and clamp body, must not exceed one Ohm when attached to plant equipment.

Additional tests ensure the clamp is suitable for use in normal industrial conditions.

The clamp must pass separation force testing, minimum-clamping force testing and vibration testing at varying frequencies to ensure approved clamps guarantee positive and stable contact with plant equipment.

Using simple clamps does not automatically eliminate the risk of static electricity.

Effectively dissipating static requires careful planning and a sound approach to risk management.

Self-testing clamps and indicating/interlock systems are recommended for ultra-critical applications in sensitive flammable/explosive atmospheres where a low resistance bond to earth is vital.

Anyone needing more information on static hazard solutions should register for a free copy of the ‘Grounding and Bonding Applications Handbook’ on Newson and Gale’s website.

For over 25 years, Newson Gale has been in the business of protecting people and assets from the hazards of static electricity.

Newson Gale serves industries where processes that generate significant amounts of static electricity have the potential to ignite flammable or explosive atmospheres.The major industries served are:

-chemical/petrochemical manufacturing and distribution.

-pharmaceutical/clean room processes.

-paints,coatings and solvents manufacturing and distribution.

-food and beverage production and distribution.

Newson Gale’s commitment to research and innovation has led to the creation of patented industry firsts that optimise the safety of people and protection of plant assets.

Our solutions are divided into three flexible product categories that are specified for customers depending on the level of safety required to protect people and plant assets from the flammable/explosive hazard.The three categories are described as:

Earth-Rite:continuous static dissipative monitoring with positive indication and interlock control outputs.

Bond-Rite:continuous static dissipative monitoring with positive indication.

Cen-Stat:mechanical earthing and bonding devices and hazardous area accessories.

Depending on the country specification,our equipment carries ATEX,FM,IECEx and SIL2 hazardous area approvals and are fully compliant with internationally recognised best practise standards for controlling static electricity

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