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Botou Safety Tools Non Sparking Tools: When and How to Use Them

13th. January, 2022

Non-sparking Tools


Today we talk about non-sparking tools, also known as explosion-proof tools or ATEX tools, with Botou Safety Tools Group, a company specialized in the production of non-sparking, non-magnetic, and corrosion-resistant hand tools since 1983.


If you’re a professional that works in the field of oil & gas you surely know how important it is to choose specific hand tools that minimize the risks of accidents in your workplace. The safety of the worker is a matter of fundamental importance for Botou Safety Tools, which strives to design a catalog of reliable non-sparking and explosion-proof hand tools to keep workers safe.

The range of non-sparking hand tools by Botou Safety Tools is specifically designed to fulfill the needs of explosions in ATEX zones such as oil refineries, offshore oil rigs, coal mines, and so on. If you choose Botou Safety Tools non-sparking sockets, hammers, and wrenches you can rely on the experience and know-how of this brand and be sure that these tools, designed with great attention to detail, will ensure your maximum safety at work.


What is a Non-Sparking tool?

Non-Sparking tools or safety tools are way different than regular hand tools that are commonly in the toolbox of professionals in mechanical workshops. In fact, regular hand tools, for example, Botou wrenches, are usually made of highly resistant chromium-vanadium steel alloys, a material that is not suitable to be used in facilities that may have an explosive atmosphere such as oil rigs: in fact, if a steel wrench would fall in such an environment it could create sparks that, consequently, could cause an explosion or the start of a fire, putting in danger the life of all workers on the platform.


This is why in zones where there may be flammable gas, dust, or liquids (ATEX Zones), you need special tools that are made of bronze, aluminum, beryllium, nickel, and copper alloys. All the alloys used to produce this particular type of tool have a lower tensile strength with respect to traditional materials: this means they have less strength and resistance, are softer, and wear out more quickly, but generate cold sparks with a low level of heat that are not able to ignite any substance. For example, have a look at the Botou non-sparking 183A ratchet wrench. Thanks to its specific anti-sparking features, this tool is the right one, as it protects you against fires and explosions that could take place in risky environments if you use a standard wrench.

In fact, the copper and beryllium alloy used by Botou Safety Tools to produce its explosion-proof hand tools guarantees maximum safety even in extreme situations and they can be used safely even in delicate situations and in places where even a single spark could be fatal.


How do you use an explosion-proof hand tool?

A fundamental piece of advice is to always make sure that all spark-proof tools have been thoroughly cleaned and that they’re free from rust or ferrous contaminants, which could void the anti-deflagration properties of your Botou Safety Tools non-sparking tool. Then, you must always remember not to use them in direct contact with acetylene, which, in the presence of moisture, could create highly dangerous explosive acetals. Thirdly, we must always remember to periodically sharpen all the anti-spark tools following the normal safety procedures, thus protecting eyes and face and collecting the powders with the appropriate tools. Finally, it is essential to ventilate the premises to remove potentially harmful powders and vapors from the air.

By following these few simple rules, you will ensure that you always have clean and functional tools and minimize the possible dangers in the workplace.


What happens if you don’t use non-sparking tools in dangerous environments?

As we explained in the previous questions, in certain environments standard hand tools could lead to the generation of a spark that would put in danger all the workers in the facility.

Think for example of an offshore oil rig: in such places, there may be gases or liquid substances that could cause a fire or an explosion. In these situations, it is unthinkable to use traditional hand tools, and just tools that don’t contain ferrous metals should be used.


With a tool Frictional ignition may occur, if the tool falls or it is rubbed on materials such as cement: the steel alloys linked to the chrome vanadium, in fact, can generate hot sparks and high risk, because they can ignite airborne flammable substances in a moment. This would cause fires or explosions, endangering the lives of everyone in the workplace.


Botou non-sparking tools

To guarantee maximum safety in the workplace, Botou anti-deflagration tools follow all the minimum safety requirements laid out in the British Royal UKAS certification, Germany TUV, GS certification, U.S FM certification. All Botou non-sparking tools are following the standards concerning the regulation of work equipment used in areas with a high risk of explosion to protect the employees working in explosion risk areas.


Under what conditions can an explosion occur? When there is an oxidizer, such as oxygen in the air, a fuel, chemical gases (solvents, diluents ...) or powders (aluminum, wood, magnesium ...), and a flashpoint, i. e. a source of ignition. In these cases, the atmosphere becomes dangerous: a simple hot spark, due to the fall or the rubbing of a tool, could cause an explosion.

All Botou equipment can be used safely thanks to the special attention paid to the design and production of these non-sparking, anti-magnetic hand tools.