Our clients are constantly pushing the boundaries of science – developing new products, equipment, and technologies, and conceptualizing processes using new materials and extreme conditions. Since we are a partner with our clients in these activities, Chilworth is not satisfied simply with being proficient in standardized tests. Rather, we understand the tests and the underlying science, and have experience modifying standard tests and developing new tests to generate the data and information that our clients and we need to assess the safety and performance of new products, materials, technologies, and processes.
Chilworth worked with one of their clients to develop a Type D flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC or bulk bag). This FIBC controls the potential electrostatic ignition hazard otherwise associated with these containers without the need for electrical grounding. Our research on FIBCs is continuing with an evaluation of the potential induction hazard posed by Type D bulk bags, including measuring the potential on and charge transfer from isolated conductors over time and studying the competition between corona and induction effects.
Extreme Condition Flammability Studies
Chilworth also has the capability to undertake extreme condition flammability studies, i.e., high temperature and high pressure. Chilworth has the capability to develop specialized glass, metal, and ceramic test chambers. For example, we have been conducting research for a client into the evolution of highly flammable gas from a certain molten metal.
In addition to studying chemical reaction hazards, including thermal runaway reactions, our Chemical Process Evaluation (CPE) Group also helps clients with process optimization. For example, we have been conducting research for a client into the use of alternative solvents in nitration reactions. Using Adiabatic Dewar Calorimetry (ADC) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), we have been comparing the time-to-maximum rate (TMR) for nitrations using the typical solvent of sulfuric acid versus that for alternative solvents. Another important tool in these studies is the Mettler RC-1 Reaction Calorimeter, which Chilworth can use to simulate virtually any reaction conducted or proposed by our clients. We are one of the few commercial laboratories possessing the Mettler RC-1.
Qualification of Equipment for Hazardous Locations
Chilworth helps clients qualify new equipment for use in hazardous locations, i.e., where flammable gas, vapor, and dust cloud atmospheres may be evolved. For example, we helped a manufacturer qualify an in-line static neutralizer for use in pneumatic conveying systems processing combustible powders and bulk solids. This was accomplished using a gas-emitting probe to expose the device to flammable gas atmospheres having known minimum ignition energies (MIEs). Similarly, we helped a client qualify a comminutor for use with combustible powders and bulk solids.