BLEACH, ACIDS & CORROSIVES – SAFETY AND LONGEVITY
Corrosive products are dangerous to personnel and accelerate depreciation of capital equipment. Therefore, it is paramount that a filling machine design for these types of products control exposure of personnel to hazardous liquids and gasses. It is also important that materials of construction and other special design features be chosen to protect the buyer’s investment. There are many examples of tragic accidents due to the lack of foresight in this regard. Moreover, machines not correctly built for these environments see major disrepair and decay of the machinery within 6 months.
Generally speaking, the time gravity filling machine is predominant in the corrosive chemical filling industry because of its simplicity of operation and the fact that it does not pressurize or recirculate these chemicals which can increase risk of exposure to personnel. Because the filling machine is used for corrosives that generally attack metal components, there are special design considerations for both materials of construction as well as fasteners in this time gravity filling machine.
TIME GRAVITY FILLING MACHINE FOR CORROSIVE CHEMICALS
When speaking of “corrosive chemicals” the general context is in the acid filling and bleach industries. Hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid are common applications. Bleach means not only low laundry concentrations but also industrial concentrations of sodium hypo-chlorate. As discussed in other sections, the Time Gravity Filling Machine is used for filling free flowing, non foaming liquids and it has some degree of flexibility of container size and geometry even though corrosives filling is typically dedicated to a particular product with a very limited fill size range.
These chemicals are so corrosive to machinery that even the atmosphere where the filling machines are installed can be destructive to any metal assets in the area as well as hazardous to personnel. Metal fasteners used in the assembly of a conventional time gravity filling machine will degrade within 6 months and the filling machine will start to come apart. Even the control system is isolated so that it is continually being purged with clean outside air even when the machine is not in use. This protects the electronic components from premature failure.
Time gravity filling machines for corrosive products are constructed entirely out of inert plastic and fiberglass with even the fasteners (nuts and bolts) being made of fiberglass. All valves and fluid paths are specified for compatibility with the extreme products being filled. There is always fully enclosed guarding to protect personnel form splashing and spray during operation. These construction techniques and materials are somewhat unique and therefore these machines are typically manufactured at a premium to those made from mild or stainless steel or other metals.