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Dangerous Goods Class 2: Flammable Gases

Posted in Dangerous Goods - 1 Nov 2019, 2:01 PM

The formal classification of Dangerous Goods Class 2 consists of flammable gases, nontoxic and nonflammable gases, and toxic gases. The transportation laws in various countries, including by the United Nations Model Regulations, use the classification to regulate compressed gases and increase the safety of their transporting methods.

Each gas type has unique characteristics, and their containers must be signified with unique symbols that clearly describe them.

Characteristics of Flammable Gases

Flammable gas is recognized as Division 2.1 in Dangerous Goods Class 2 classification. It depicts any gases with volatile characteristics that can be ignited easily, creating a blast of heat and causing fire hazards. Flammable gases may exist because of leakage, breakdown, or just be there under normal circumstances.

In the formal classifications, flammable gases are ignited at 14.7 psia when it has a 13 percent volume (or less) in the air. A gas type or product is also considered flammable if the flammable range reaches 101.3 kPa with 12 percent of air or lower. Otherwise, the classification for flammable gases must be determined by official flammability testing standards.

Examples of flammable gas products are gas lighter refill, acetylene, ethylene (i.e. ripening fruits), industrial hydrogen, propane, carbon monoxide, methane, and disposable lighters. The symbol of flammable gas is a black or white flame on a red background.

Specifications for Transporting Flammable Gases

Generally, this type of dangerous goods need to be transported with seamless industrial cylinders, made of heat-treated, high-quality alloys. All the cylinders must undergo formal testing and follow industrial standards, with regular inspections to spot the effects of rough treatments, age, corrosions, fire hazards, weather, and many more.

Flammable gas containers or cylinders must be handled carefully during the storage and transportations. The steps of careful handling include:

  • Keeping the containers in a stable space with proper temperature, away from heat source.
  • Keeping the containers away from direct sun exposure.
  • Handling the containers with care to reduce bumps, falls, shakes, and other physical hazards.
  • Avoiding any tampering with safety features and proper equipment connections.

The gas containers must be checked regularly to notice damages, like scratches, brittleness, corrosions, and dents. All gas containers or cylinders that no longer have high-quality standards must be discarded.

Labelling and Marking

Flammable gas containers must follow strict codes in marking and labelling. The International Labour Organization released several chapter points about labelling and marking, listed below:

1.      Formal Criteria for Labelling and Marking

Each label and marking on the container must follow the standards and requirements by competent authorities or approved bodies. The standards include recognizing, distinguishing, handling, shipping, and treating the containers and their contents.

2.      Consistent Labelling and Marking for Dangerous Goods

All suppliers, sellers, and other parties responsible for sending dangerous substances must mark the containers with accurate labels. They must also review and revise the labels when the authorities change some aspects of the labelling.

3.      Complete Information on the Labelling and Marking

The labelling and marking system must contain information like the trade names, supplier identities and contacts, chemical names, proper hazard symbols, batch identification, specific risks, safety precautions, and other relevant information. Aside from the flammable gases and the cylinders, the valves and all the connecting systems must be regarded as one. Treat all of them with care and avoid any contact with elements that can cause ignition.

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