Bahco’s Mark Haywood gives some advice on how to get the most from your Non-Sparking tools.
Bahco Non-Sparking (NS) tools are designed for use in potentially explosive environments, where‘traditional’ steel tools might create sparks in the presence of combustible or easily ignitable vapours, liquids and dust.
Because NS tools can’t reach the hardness of conventional tools their use has to be carried out with special care. We therefore make the following recommendations to users of NS tools:
● Avoid overstraining and heating and make frequent visual checks of each NS tool during use;
● Don’t use both a steel tool and an NS tool at the same time;
● Don’t use high copper content tools, such as Al-Br and Cu-Be tools, in direct contact with acetylene;
● Always take considerable care when reworking copper-beryllium (Cu-Be) tools, as beryllium (Be) dust or vapour is toxic;
● Cu-Be tools should be ground only when wet;
● Don’t inhale any dust and be sure to wear a face mask;
● Make sure all NS tools are kept clean and free from ferrous or other contaminants which may hamper the properties of a non-sparking tool;
● The tool’s surface temperature mustn’t be higher than the present gases temperature;
● Ensure that no objects which could cause a spark fall or are dropped within the working environment.
Non-ferrous, softer materials such as brass, bronze, copper-aluminium alloys (aluminium bronze), or copper-beryllium alloys (beryllium bronze) greatly reduce the risk of producing ignitable sparks. Bahco NS tools are manufactured in aluminium-bronze (Al-Br) or copper-beryllium (Cu-Be), making them both safe and suitable for use in hazardous environments.
All NS tools in the range are produced according to the international DIN and ISO standards in terms of dimensions, cutting capacity, and strength, with hardness being adapted to the purpose of the tool.
Tools used for striking applications, like slogging wrenches and hammers, are manufactured in aluminium-bronze (Al-Br), while tools that require a higher torque and precision performance, such as pliers, screwdrivers and adjustable wrenches, are manufactured in copper-beryllium (Cu-Be).
Taking safety seriously
Although hand tools are not within the scope of the 94/9/EC directive, Bahco takes safety so seriously that its NS range is certiﬁed by the independent German laboratory BAM, the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing.
The range of NS tools includes hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches and grattoirs, as well as other striking and construction tools. Its non-sparking adjustable wrenches, manufactured in copper beryllium, are die-forged, anti-magnetic and oﬀer high resistance to corrosion. They’re also produced according to ISO 6787.
NS screwdrivers for use with slotted head, Phillips or Posidriv screws have been developed using Bahco’s scientiﬁc ERGO process. Made from copper beryllium, they’re cold rolled, anti-magnetic and corrosion resistant with handles that are produced using anti-static plastics.
The range also includes NS pliers in several types, including combination, diagonal cutting, long nose and slip joint.