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NFPA30 and Fluid Power Systems

NFPA30 and Fluid Power Systems

NFPA30 and Fluid Power Systems

Perhaps an odd question and I am not sure if the code issues sub forums is appropriate so here we are.

I’m wondering if anyone has experience or thoughts about whether fluid power systems are subject to NFPA 30 code compliance. This would be for systems or equipment utilizing petroleum based fluids. I’ve no specific application but imagine a system located in a manufacturing facility.

My understanding is that these fluids are considered combustible, with some having a flashpoint of around 300F (class IIIB I believe).

I’ve just never seen references to NFPA30 in the context of fluid power or hydraulic systems.

Would this affect the design of systems and their reservoirs?

Would this be entirely based on the facility in which such a system might be located and whether or not the AHJ decides to enforce a code requirement?
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RE: NFPA30 and Fluid Power Systems

Disclaimer, I'm not familiar with that NFPA standard, but quite familiar with hydraulic systems.

Hydraulic systems are normally designed to not lead to combustible/ignitable mixtures of fuel oil and air (in the form of fuel mist, for example), and are designed to not have operating temperatures above the flash point of the liquid, and not have ignition sources present in the locations where there is an oil/air fluid interface (e.g. the inside of a reservoir). Fluid reservoirs are ordinarily closed (obviously with a vent opening) and don't have ignition sources in them. No ignition source = no fire. Temp below flash point = the vapor+air mixture above the liquid level in the vessel is too lean to ignite. Limited air supply = no sustained fire if one does try to start. The design of hydraulic systems in which heat dissipation is an issue normally includes a cooling circuit with a radiator and the temperature is monitored (A) to control the cooling fan for the radiator and (B) to keep the temperature within bounds and (for example) E-stop the system if it isn't.

There are certainly some applications that warrant the use of (edit: thanks!) nonflammablecombustible (water-based) hydraulic fluids. High temperature (as in, red hot) metalworking equipment could be one in some circumstances; e.g. a fluid leak onto the red-hot workpiece could result in a bad day.


RE: NFPA30 and Fluid Power Systems

Do know that "flammable" refers to something with a flash point below 100°F.

RE: NFPA30 and Fluid Power Systems

I agree with Tug ... What does NFPA 30 cover ?

Please understand that while enforceable under OSHA and many state and local regulations, NFPA 30 provides design safeguards to reduce many hazards associated with the storage, handling, and use of flammable and combustible liquids.

The key here is the definition of "flammable and combustible liquids"...

It is my understanding here that most "fluid power or hydraulic systems" have a liquid flash point above 100°F.

Please comment on this important aspect of your particular system

Tell us specific details of the fluids in the system of concern....

Sr. Process Engineer

RE: NFPA30 and Fluid Power Systems

NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) doesn't seem to apply to hydraulic power systems.

NFPA (National Fluid Power Association) T24.1 might, or might have in the past. It's not active now, and no clear successor.

Try following the confusing trail from here: https://webstore.ansi.org/preview-pages/NFPA-Fluid...

RE: NFPA30 and Fluid Power Systems

You might have a look at ATEX rated hydraulic systems, to get a sense of what design considerations might be made. Then review those design elements for coverage within NFPA 30.

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